That was fun..... enjoy!
The energy was high from the opening puck drop, with the Vees putting a couple of pucks on net in the early minutes but Luke Pearson was solid. Neither team had much in the way of control of the game, but the Bulldogs started to push the pace and earned a power play opportunity. Luke Pearson would make the biggest save on it, stopping Jackson Neidermayer on a breakaway off a Bulldog turnover in their zone to keep it scoreless. The Vees went to the power play next, but it was the Bulldogs who opened the scoring as Tim Gould knocked the puck out of the zone at the Bulldog line up the right wing for Dawson Tritt. He would race in alone and make no mistake on the breakaway, going high glove side, bar and in for his second shorthanded goal in as many games to make it 1-0 Bulldogs at 8:38 of the first. Four minutes later, it was Tritt again as he made a silky stickhandling move to make a defender miss at the Bulldog blue line. He then carried the puck over the Vees line up the right side before rimming it to the left half-wall. Moe Acee flew off the bench to win a race and take a hit to keep the play alive, allowing Caige Sterzer to carry it behind the net and out the near side before throwing a spinning backhand pass across the crease that was tipped to the far post by Jackson Doucet, onto the tape of Tritt who made no mistake in hitting the open side to make it 2-0 at 12:56 of the first. The Bulldogs would earn back-to-back power play chances later in the period, but sputtered on them and lost momentum, before Penticton earned a power play of their own late in the frame. Shots in the period were 11-9 Vees.
The Bulldogs killed off a Vees power play to start the second, with Pearson making two great saves in front, first of Jay O'Brien, and then a follow up rebound for David Silye at the side of the net. The Bulldogs pushed back, and drew power play after power play opportunity, and looked progressively better on each one, but it remained 2-0 into the back half of the period. The final opportunity was drawn after another extended shift in the attacking zone by the line of Zary, Sterzer and Fizet that was followed up by fresh legs off the bench. They would finally break through, with Carson Hemenway making a nice look to the middle before finding Jackson Doucet at the bottom of the right circle. He showed good patience before throwing a quick cross-crease feed that was one-timed home inside the near post by Tyler Kostelecky to make it 3-0 at 11:27 of the second. The Vees would earn their opportunities in the following minutes, and went to a 5 on 3 power play of half a minute in duration, and threatened on it with a couple good looks but Luke Pearson was again razor sharp to protect the lead coming up with two or three solid saves from in tight. Yaniv Perets - who came on in relief after the second Bulldog goal - made a couple fantastic saves on the doorstep in the late minutes of the period, including on a late power play goalmouth scramble to keep it a 3-0 game after two periods. Shots in the second were 15-10 Vees, for a 26-19 Penticton advantage into the third.
The first four minutes of the third period flew by, with the Bulldogs continuously putting the puck deep in the Vees zone and salting away time by keeping it there. They earned a power play just short of the midway point of the period due to an extended shift in the attacking zone, again by Zary-Sterzer and Fizet. While they didn't score on it, they came close with Yaniv Perets making a diving save on the goal line on Stephen Castagna to keep it 3-0. The Vees would earn a power play in the back half of the period and would gamble and make it a 6 on 4 with their goalie out for the extra attacker, but the Bulldogs defended fearlessly with a series of big shot blocks and saves by Pearson resulting in a bouncer to the blue line that saw Dawson Tritt deflect it past a Vees defender to skate in on a shorthanded breakaway to complete the hat trick with his third of the night and his second of the night short-handed to complete the scoring at 15:49 of the third. The goal was unassisted - but certainly a couple of assists were earned with shot blocks in front. A Bulldog penalty followed on the next shift, and the Vees again pulled their goalie to make it a 6 on 3 scenario, but they couldn't beat Pearson with the killers standing tall to protect the lead.
Third period shots were 9-6 Bulldogs, for a game total of 32-28 Vees, with Luke Pearson earning 2nd star honours with the win and his first career shut out while Derek Krall took the loss giving up two goals before being relived by Yaniv Perets. The Bulldogs went 1 for 10 on the power play and also scored twice while shorthanded while the Vees went 0 for 6.
With the win, the Bulldogs ran their winning streak to four and their season-long home ice winning streak to six games.
They're next in action Friday night when they host the Wenatchee Wild.