After a 4-1 win tonight in Powell River, the Bulldogs return to the Dog Pound Thursday for Game 5 with a 3-1 series lead.
As great as a 3-1 lead is, there is a reason you have heard 1 million times that the fourth game is the hardest to win.
The team has accomplished NOTHING yet.
At the same time, it feels a little odd to write this - with a win Thursday night at the Dog Pound, the AVB would advance to the the BCHL Finals.
Just plain W-O-W
It's a three game winning streak overall, and a four game road winning sreak for the Dogs now. It was a very solid effort for the Dogs, a game of big plays made on goals and in goal.
With Jordan Grant in the box for a double minor for Butt-Ending, the Dogs went up 1-0 after one with Mitch MacMillan tipping in a Ryan Renz point shot. The Kings had a great chance to tie it in the second, with Matt Garbowski having what looked like an open net on a rebound in front. Frank Slubowski only seemed to get his pad half way across but it was enough to keep it out.
Moments later The Great 8 (Dizzy, David Dziurzynski) scored what might be the goal of the playoffs as he picked up a clear and a chip by the brothers MacMillan and raced in 1 on 1 chance where he danced by a Kings dman before being tripped up. He would stun the rink and score anyway, poking the puck from his stomach in front of him and past Josh Watson.
Just two minutes later it was 3-0 Dogs as Ryan Renz walked into the right circle and blew a low shot through everything and into the back of the net on the power play.
The Dziurzynski goal would have some company in terms of highlight reel markers two minutes later again as Evan Richardson cleared the Dogs zone and found Pearce Eviston who put a perfect pass to Robert Lindores with speed who drove over the line 1 on 1 down the left wing where he put a perfect backhand short-side high on Watson to make it 4-0. That would be it for Watson's night, as Michael Garteig entered the game in relief.
The game would take a turn in short order, with Robbie Bailey getting a charging penalty for drilling Nick Cecere in the corner. Bailey appeared to drop his gloves after the hit and throw several punches. After the two minutes were up Bailey came out of the box and in a nasty looking incident (in my humble opinion) intentionally blindsided Mark MacMillan -who didn't have the puck - in open ice.
No penalty was called on the play. To say that the Bulldogs bench was up in arms would be an understatement. That point is proven by the referee going directly to the Bulldogs bench to speak to the coaches the second play was stopped.
The Kings hit the scoreboard just over three minutes into the third to make it 4-1 when Frank Slubowski lost sight of the puck and Brenden Forbes deposited it into an empty net.
Just three minutes later, the Kings picked up two penalties on the same play. The first one was for two minutes to Chad Niddery for roughing, as after he and Casey Bailey collided at centre and he ended up on top of him he appeared to throw a punch at him. After that call was made, the officiating crew had a conference call in the Powell River zone and out of that came a 5 minute major for slashing to Jordan Grant for a wack on Evan Richardson.
The Dogs wouldn't be able to score on the power play, and they eventually took a penalty themselves to go off the advantage. The Kings would have a great chance to get back into it with over six minutes to play as they went to a 95 second long 5 on 3 power play. While the Kings would generate several chances moving the puck, they couldn't pull the trigger and the Dogs remained composed and made several good plays with clears and shot blocks to kill it off to skate to the win.