Just plain WOW.
I was sure hoping that the guys would bring their same level of play that they had at the end of the road trip, but I thought that with such a short bench combined with it being their fourth game in six days that it would be tough to duplicate.
Instead they went the other way and played EVEN better. I shouldn't have been surprised, as what they did on the road seemed to defy logic anyway. Like I said on the post game maybe the key is just having 12 or 13 skaters!?
The Caps had the jump early and the better of the chances, but Max Fenkell was very sharp in goal. The Dogs took the lead past the midway mark of the period on a goal that would be a sign of things to come, as Yan Kalashnikov put a shot on net that was stopped by Dun, but he couldn't get the rebound as Arty fired it off the post and in for a 1-0 Dogs lead after one.
There would be no scoring until late in the second as the game slowed down with plenty of penalties handed out with the game being very intense and chippy. The Dogs would take advantage of one of the penalties as they came out of four-aside hockey and onto the power play and made it 2-0 when Josh Mitchell won a draw that was helped back to the line by Trent Dorais to Walker Hyland who threw one on net that found its way home through traffic with under four to play in the second. The Dogs have now scored a power play goal in eight straight games.
The third period featured lots of scoring, with the Dogs getting it going early when the Caps failed to get the puck out before Trent Dorais found Arty alone in the slot with a backhand pass that he put past the glove of Dun just two minutes in. This would do it for Dun, but neither I or Bruce would notice it (really missing Dan "the statsman" Tisserand in the booth tonight) with the action getting crazy with a Capital goal just a minute later from Brett Knowles followed by a spirited scrap between Marlon Sabo and Keyler Bruce. Just a minute and a half later the Dogs restored the lead to make it 4-1 on a great shift by Strand-Stewart-Lough that saw the new Assistant Captain Lough bury one from the slot on a one-timer. I remember at one point during the action thinking about the goalie when I looked at him for a split second "hey he's not a southpaw" before it got lost in the action again. Thanks to the six or so people that texted me or emailed me to correct me by the way, and sorry for the goof - that's a first for me! And Bruce - you gotta be on that, eh?!
Arty would complete the hat trick with under five to play on a 2 on 1 with Yan setting him up beautifully down the right side and Arty finishing it off just as pretty with a one-timer under the bar to make it 5-1 before Marlon Sabo completed the scoring drilling a one-timer home from the top of the point for the first of his career with just two seconds left for the 6-1 final.
Can't say how happy I was to see Sabo score...if you missed it on the roadie, Sabo blasted yet another one-t from the line on the power play that was deflected in to make it 2-2 in the third period in Vernon. I was saying on the air how Sabo was dearly hoping that it hit a Viper stick, because if it did it would be the first of his career, but the puck was tipped by Hunter Stewart. What I didn't know at the time was that Brian Ceci, the videographer that accompanied the Bulldogs on the trip, had Sabo "mic'd up" for the third period. On the bus home I watched the clip of the goal and at the exactly the same time I was saying that Sabo was hoping it wasn't a team-tip he was celebrating with his teammates on the ice and said "Stewie(Hunter Stewart) please tell me you didn't tip that" to which Stewart replied "sorry I did" and Sabo then replied something along the lines of "aw, shucks!". Great to see him score tonight, on a play that was oddly very similar to the one tonight!
Great game by the affiliates in Keenan McConnell and Alex Grupe. Just an all-out team effort with good special teams, great goaltending, lots of hustle and determination and all those important things when it comes to winning a hockey game.
Final shots 44-32 Caps
3rd) Trent Dorais - he was originally selected the third star and insisted that Marlon Sabo get the honour instead. Quite a move by the Captain. Sabo was very deserving as were many others.
2nd) Max Fenkell
1st) Arty Kalashnikov