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Monday, March 21, 2011

Midget Dogs tie defending Champs in Provincials opener, Bulldog Alumni Update, see ya Matt Cooke


The Van Isle Ford Midget Bulldogs drew 2010 defending champions Surrey for their first game on Sunday March 20 and battled to a 4-4 tie. The coaches were mostly pleased with the game, but added that, “The good news is (the Bulldogs) can play even better.”
The Bulldogs came out tight and gave up a goal in the first minute.  The momentum stayed with Surrey for most of the period. Finally, Colby Lim took the puck in front of the Surrey goal and passed back to Nathan Read on right point.  Read one timed a blistering shot to the top corner to even the score at 1-1. Carson McCulloch and Brady Janzen also assisted.

The Bulldogs were stronger in the second period but did not score in spite of some good chances. Surrey scored on a power play at the five minute mark and then again with seven minutes left to make it 3-1.  The Bulldogs stepped it up late in the period.  With 4 seconds left, Bryan Read jumped up into the slot to receive a pass from Lim which he hammered under the goalie, narrowing the gap to one.

Surrey went up by two again at 11:21 of the third period and appeared confident of winning. But the Bulldogs were determined not to lose and dug deeper.  At 6:02, playing 4 on 4, Lim captured a loose puck near centre, beat the last defenceman, then beat the goalie high stick side to make it 3-4. Surrey attempted to slow down the game, but Alberni Valley kept the pressure on.  After multiple shots, and rebounds controlled by the Bulldogs, Janzen received the puck from Lim and banged it in to tie the game at 4-4.  That score held as the final.

Alberni Valley is playing in a pool with Surrey, Williams Lake and New Westminster.  All four teams are ranked by Hockey Now above the five in the other pool.  All four tied their first games, so the rest of the championship promises more intensely competitive hockey.  Kamloops and Salmon Arm also tied their game Sunday morning.

Thanks to Simon Read for sending in the update, much appreciated. 

Also big thanks to Tom McEvay for this update on former Bulldogs playing in various levels of Pro Hockey

Some updates on Bulldog alumni playing pro .....

After a stellar 4 years at U Mass Lowell Maury Edwards signed this week with Providence of the AHL. Maury graduates from UMass Lowell this year. Below is a link from UMass Lowell ....  

In another signing this week after four years at Providence College Jordan Kremyr signed with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL. Jordan graduates from Providence College this year. 

In other alumni news Harry Zolnierzyck scored his first two pro goals this week for Adirondack of the AHL. He got his first goal and was third star on Wednesday and then last night in his home town of Toronto with many family and friends in attendance Harry scored the game winner and was first star in Adirondack's 3-1 win over the Marlies. Harry signed an NHL/AHL contract less than two weeks ago with Philly and Adirondack after 4 years at Brown University, the last as their captain.

Alumni Brian Stewart continues to lead the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL as he was a star in three recent wins. He is 16 and 4 as their starting goalie since joining Bakersfield. Brian graduated from Northern Michigan University last year. 

Earlier in the week alumni and former captain Devin Timberlake scored his first goal since being traded to Gwinnett of the ECHL from Reading. Devin graduated from Brown University last year after being their captain for two years.

Alumni Doug Krantz is playing for the Ontario Reign of the ECHL. Doug graduated from Cornell University in 2008. He left the Bulldogs in 2004. 

Alumni Joe Scali is playing for the Laredo Bucks of the Central Hockey League this season. Joe graduated from Cornell University last year after being recruited out of the Bulldogs in 2006.

Alumni Josh Bonar had an outstanding season of pro hockey in Hungary this year where he played in Miskolc. Josh lead his team and was high in the league in points.

Take care. 


Tom McEvay
Educational Advisor
Alberni Valley Bulldogs

This one doesn't deserve much discussion.....See ya Mr. Cooke. What are your guesses for the impending suspension? 4, 6, 8 or 10 games? Less, more?

I apologize for not having any further comments on the Press Release sent out by the Dogs on Friday regarding Kevin Hasselberg moving on....I have been moving over the last week and the weekend was literally around the clock moving, painting, sanding, etc, from Friday until last night. I just didn't have the time to wade into it all. First and foremost, I was sad to hear the news, like I am any time anyone leaves the organization and most likely, the community. If you work in conjunction with anyone for any length of time - better yet an entire season, that person becomes a friend, a familiar face, someone you have some passionate discussions with and some mundane ones with. Kevin and his family were actively involved in Minor Hockey with two kids involved - the local hockey scene will no doubt miss them. It's not easy to move a family and it's not easy on the kids or the parents. As I said in the beginning, I was sad to hear the news that things didn't work out here.

When Kevin was hired here I thought it would be an interesting dynamic with a rookie Head Coach being complemented by a 10 year Junior A veteran Coach, and I was curious as to how the Coaches work work together. This is by no means a criticism of Ownership and Management. I thought it would either be sink or swim outcome. It would either be a great set up, or a tough go of things, with a Rookie Head Coach being Assisted by someone with lots of experience. The proof is in the pudding in regards to how it worked with the Press Release sent out Friday. It is always funny how things work out. There was plenty of negative comments from the fan base on the hiring of a Rookie Head Coach in Nolan Graham - yet in the end it led to the best season in Franchise History. When Paul Esdale was hired when Nolan moved on, the prevailing sentiment was that it was a good decision to keep some stability and keep the momentum going forward from LAST year. Now it seems that from the collection of comments that he is the bad guy...Paul had a tough year from the word GO with Mark MacMillan requesting to play at home, with Jordan Grant not reporting, with Ryan Green not reporting, etc etc etc. And that was all before the season even STARTED. For all the trials and tribulations of the year, I saw many positive things out of the team in 2010-2011, and I am optimistic of great things to come next season.

I firmly believe that Paul Esdale is a good coach and I believe good things are ahead for the team now that he has his rookie year behind him and with how motivated he is to ice a winner in 2011-2012.

At the same time, I firmly believe Kevin Hasselberg is a good coach, and a good guy, and I wish him and his family all the best in the future and I hope he finds another opportunity to be involved in the game in short order.

It is all a part of the business that I certainly don't enjoy, but this is first and foremost a business, it ain't Minor Hockey.

If you have things to get of your chest, I encourage you to contact the team personally to let them know your opinion while standing behind your words in the process, as opposed to using the blog to anonymously vent.



Jamie Amos said...

Hammer Maury is now with Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL.

Alvin said...

Thanks for your final comments on the coaching situation Hammer. Most of the venom being spoken by some don't have a complete grasp of the situation, personalities and dynamics involved. I thought you laid it out quite nicely.