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Bullfrogs Roll Past Columbus, 8-3

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two games into their first Major League Roller Hockey season and it’s evident that the Bullfrogs are what most expected: A team with a potent offense.

Six players scored Sunday evening as the Bullfrogs defeated the Columbus Hawks, 8-3, at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

This time it was two first-quarter goals from defenseman Taj Melson, who finished with a hat trick, that got the Bullfrogs rolling in front of an estimated crowd of 2,500.

Newcomers Sandy Gasseau and Darren Colbourne had first-half goals, and veterans Darren Perkins, Sean Whyte and Mark Woolf also scored.

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In Friday night’s 12-2 victory over Buffalo, Kevin St. Jacques’s two early goals got the Bullfrogs (2-0) going.

Melson, a veteran of the former Roller Hockey International, didn’t waste much time Sunday. His first goal was a backhander that sailed past goaltender Joe Bonvie 50 seconds into the game.

Melson followed with a slap shot off a centering pass from Woolf 10 minutes later to put the Bullfrogs ahead, 2-0.

“My three goals were just a result of great individual teamwork by three other players,” Melson said. “I was just the guy who finished. If you check the back records of the old league, we have players on this team that were at the top of the score sheet every year.”

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The Bullfrogs outshot the Hawks, 47-18. Bonvie, who led the United States to the gold medal at last year’s International Ice Hockey Federation In-line Hockey World Championship, was overwhelmed Sunday night. He made three point-blank saves in the final minute of the third quarter.

The Bullfrogs also hit the post several times during the quarter. Bonvie, who finished with 39 saves, had a goals-against average of 5.87 last season with the San Jose Rhinos.

“Anaheim is rated to be the best team in the league with a lot of veterans that have been around four or five years,” Bonvie said. “This was a good test for us to see how we measure up. Down the road we could give them a good game.”

Woolf put the Bullfrogs up, 6-1, a little more than a minute into the second half when he beat his former teammate.

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Notes

The new hard plastic puck that replaces the roller-ized model used by RHI bounced and caught numerous edges on the molded-plastic squares of the playing surface Sunday. Bullfrog Coach Todd Gordon and several players said the puck will eventually drive fans away because it makes stickhandling difficult and decreases the caliber of skating.


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