Not the opening the Bulldogs wanted to the 2012-2013 season as they fell to the Langley Rivermen 7-3 to open the BCHL Showcase.
A good start to the game saw the Dogs up 1-0 as Zach Funk muscled one home from the paint for his first career goal. The lead didn't last long as the Rivermen tied it on a one-timer from the slot. It was 2-1 Langley after one on a shorthanded breakaway converted by Scott Moyer.
Lars Hepso scored a goal that is highlight of the year material already - even after only game #1 as he split the defense and busted in on a breakaway only to be hauled down. He would still find a way to score though as he somehow got his stick on the puck while sliding to the net to fire it home. A backbreaker just over a minute later took away any momentum as a wrist shot from the line by Ben Butcher destined for the corner deflected off a skate and up and over Jay Deo to make it 3-2. Another bang bang play late in the period quite similar to the first Rivermen goal gave them a 4-2 lead after two periods as Tyler Cope scored.
Langley would build the lead to 5-2 early in the third on a deflected pass hammered into an open net by Bo Pellah before a power play marker made it 6-2 on a converted rebound by Derek Sutliffe with just one second to go in the power play. The Dogs would kill off a 5 on 3 to keep it that way but not for long as on the 5 on 4 a point shot by Thomas Nitsche found its way through traffic and into the top corner for a 7-2 Langley lead. The Dogs would make it a 7-3 final with a power play goal of their own late in the game as Nathan Craft scored his first career goal poking one home off a nice set up by Evan Tironese and Jared Wilson.
Final shots favored the Rivermen 28-26 with James Barr and Jay Deo being the goalies of record.
I had both teams at 2 for 8 on the power play with Langley also scoring once shorthanded.
The Dogs might be down a couple of bodies for game #2 tomorrow morning at 11:30 as Hunter Stewart went to hospital for X-rays after taking a high hit. A scary incident late in the game saw Turner Popoff take a deflected shot off the throat which saw him struggle to breathe. He also went to hospital to be checked out and should be ok.
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