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Bulls Split Minnesota Doubleheader as Giftopoulos Makes VHLM Debut


Thranduil
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HOUSTON - Houston Bulls rookie defenseman Clinton Giftopoulos played the first two games of his VHLM career today, only a day after inking his introductory contract. Playing both games against Western Conference rival Minnesota Storm, the Bulls completed the doubleheader with a 50% win rate, going 1-1 on the day. Giftopoulos, a sixteen-year-old, 230-pound Maldivian blueliner wasn't given a whole lot to do, averaging only 2:24 in ice-time throughout the two games, but he was able to get a small taste of the intense VHLM action as Houston approaches final stretch of what has been a very dominant season for the team.

 

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Bulls defenseman, Clinton Giftopoulos makes his VHLM debut on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.

 

In the first of the two games, the Bulls came out flying, with Isabella Campbell scoring the opening goal a mere 48 seconds in. Giftopoulos saw his first glimpse of ice-time during the fifth minute of play in the first period. During this shift, the lanky defender managed to make two quick pass interceptions before heading to the bench. Ten minutes later, Houston scored again, widening their lead to two. Giftopoulos managed to play another brief and uneventful shift in the period, and the Bulls headed into intermission with a 2-0 lead. Similar to the first period, Houston started off the second with a goal in the first minute, as Aloe Dear potted her 37th of the season, just 19 seconds into play. Giftopoulos played his third and final shift midway through the second and was able to make one more interception, bringing his total on the day to three. Drew Minott stopped all 21 shots he faced through the first 40 minutes, and the period ended with Houston leading 3-0. The third period was somewhat quieter, as the Bulls cruised to an easy victory. The only goal came with less than three minutes left, as Venus Thightrap netted the insurance marker, her 33rd of the season. The final score was 4-0 Bulls. Drew Minott managed to preserve his shutout throughout the third period, finishing the game with 31 saves in his 43rd win this year. Giftopoulos finished the game with only 1:14 in ice-time to show for.

 

The Bulls headed North to Minnesota, for the second meeting of the day between the two teams. Once again, Houston opened the scoring, this time after eight minutes of play, with Riley Knight Gee netting his 32nd tally of the season, and 71st of his VHLM career. Cole Newhook evened the score four minutes later with a shorthanded goal. The period concluded with the two teams sitting at a goal apiece. Giftopoulos had more to do in this period, having played three shifts after 20 minutes were up. The second period started off slow, but after the ten-minute mark, Minnesota began to run away with the game, scoring three goals in just over five minutes. One of the goals came from Bo Burrows, and the other two from Cole Newhook, who completed his second hat trick of the season. Venus Thightrap scored with four minutes left in the period to make it 4-2 Storm, but Minnesota answered back with their fourth goal of the period just over two minutes later. The second period ended 5-2 Minnesota. This was the most eventful period for Giftopoulos in either game, as he managed to fit four shifts into the period and was on the ice during the Thightrap goal, resulting in a +1 rating after two. The third period saw Houston's strongest performance. Venus Thightrap scored her second goal of the game 39 seconds into the period. The Storm tied it up less than two minutes later, with a goal from Turner McHugh, his 22nd of the season. Shawty Nananana made it 6-4 at 4:16, knocking in Houston's first powerplay goal of the game. For the rest of the period, the Bulls tried desperately to score but were unable to find another goal. Giftopoulos played only two shifts in the third period and took a hooking penalty during the second one with only 2 minutes left to play, killing any chance the Bulls had of a comeback. The game ended 6-4 for the Storm, with Houston being outshot 40-29 through three periods.

 

Clinton Giftopoulos spoke with the media following the second game.

 

Journalist #1: Thanks for being here Clint. How did it feel to get your first taste of professional hockey today?

Giftopoulos: It was definitely a lot of fun. It felt pretty surreal hitting the ice for warm-ups in the first game in Houston, with the whole arena full of Bulls fans. I've been working towards this day for a good portion of my life and now that I'm here, I feel like I'm dreaming. I definitely did not expect the competition to be this tough though. It was a real wake-up call for me to play against the Storm. They're a really good team, and a few of the players made me look bad multiple times. Otherwise, though, I just tried my best to stick to the routine and not attempt anything crazy. I think I need to feel out the competition and get established before I look to score lots of points. Overall, a great day, and I'm looking forward to what the future holds.

 

Journalist #2: This is your first day with the team after signing a brand new contract yesterday. What was it like to get the call from Houston that they wanted you on their team?

Giftopoulos: It was so crazy. Just two days ago, though it feels like a lot longer, I was playing for the Calgary Buffaloes midget team, with John Madden coaching me. The team had a good game and I scored a goal and a few assists. Right after the third period, I was approached by a Houston Bulls representative, who asked me if I'd consider cutting my midget season short to come play for Houston. I was a little bit hesitant at first, as I had previously planned to help the Buffaloes win the AMHL championships, but both John and my teammates encouraged me to take the opportunity. So yesterday I flew down to Houston with John and my step-dad, and we talked things over with the GM and coach, before I decided to sign with the Bulls for the end of the season. A day later, I found myself playing my first VHLM games of my career.

 

Journalist #2: Thanks for your time, Clinton.

Giftopoulos: Thank you.

 

(1081 words) Claiming for weeks ending August 30 and September 6

Edited by Thranduil
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Review

Welcome back to the league friend! On behalf of the VHL family, we missed you and we're glad that you're back in hanging with the lot of us. It isn't often that a member will talk so thoroughly about their play in the games they're simulated in. It's more apparent in football, where there are less games which makes them all count. I really enjoyed reading the storylines of the very few minutes Giftopolous played. My biggest recommendation would be to ease up on the bolding. When everything is emphasized, nothing gets emphasized. I understand using it to point out players names and the team name as well, but I would recommend using it to highlight big moments of the game. Such as "Drew Minott managed to preserve his shutout throughout the third period...". The reason why you would ease up a bit is because it's really hard to keep track of one thing when everything wants you to look at it at the same time. Tasteful amounts is how I'll put it. I did really enjoy reading and I can't wait for more! 

I rate this article 8 good shifts out of 10. 

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13 hours ago, Plate said:

Review

Welcome back to the league friend! On behalf of the VHL family, we missed you and we're glad that you're back in hanging with the lot of us. It isn't often that a member will talk so thoroughly about their play in the games they're simulated in. It's more apparent in football, where there are less games which makes them all count. I really enjoyed reading the storylines of the very few minutes Giftopolous played. My biggest recommendation would be to ease up on the bolding. When everything is emphasized, nothing gets emphasized. I understand using it to point out players names and the team name as well, but I would recommend using it to highlight big moments of the game. Such as "Drew Minott managed to preserve his shutout throughout the third period...". The reason why you would ease up a bit is because it's really hard to keep track of one thing when everything wants you to look at it at the same time. Tasteful amounts is how I'll put it. I did really enjoy reading and I can't wait for more! 

I rate this article 8 good shifts out of 10. 

Is this better?

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