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Friday, March 22, 2013

Dogs vs Grizz Island Finals Away/Home Friday/Saturday, Midget Dogs go for Provincial Gold 11am today

It certainly caught me by surprise yesterday when the schedule was released that showed a Friday game in Victoria, Saturday off, and Game 2 Sunday in Victoria followed by Monday and Tuesday games in Alberni and a Game 5 in Victoria on Wednesday, possibly forcing the teams to play over four straight days. 

The Grizzlies are certainly in a tough position with the "Rink of Dreams" 24 event Saturday to Sunday - you aren't ever going to hear me complain about an event that helps children battling life-threatening conditions. One would assume the event was booked a long time in advance and it wasn't a surprise.  Throw in the impending WHL Playoffs beginning Thursday at Bear Mountain Arena due to the World Curling Championships evicting the Royals and the Grizzlies are caught in a tough place. I'm just mostly happy that I am totally 100% removed from all of the discussions and negotiations and back and forth that no doubt goes on behind the scenes in scenarios like this because they can't be fun. Of course no team that has battled hard all season and has earned Home Ice would want to give up the opening games of a series on home ice, at the same time I think in the end the teams agreed that putting the players in a position to play four straight days was just too much.

I know how hard the Bulldogs battled over their five game series, and you can bet the Grizzlies and Kings battled just as hard going to five games AND overtime in the clincher, combined with the tougher travel and the "Amazing Race" road trip down the South Coast for the finale on Wednesday. In the end it's down to Victoria for Game 1 tonight, and back home for Game 2 Saturday night at the Dog Pound. Sunday is a day off, with Game 3 Monday night in Victoria, Game 4* Tuesday in Alberni and Game 5* Wednesday night in Victoria. (* if necessary)

Who knows what to expect from this series. I am never a fan of predicting, as I have just seen too much stuff over the years of the unpredictable variety. I expect a good series, with the teams battling hard and playing tight hockey throughout the season series. The Bulldogs Head to Head record against Victoria in 8 games was 2-2-0-4. The first four games head-to-head went to overtime, with the team that won the game in the end never leading the game, the Grizzlies won the first three with the Dogs winning the fourth. One of the Bulldogs wins was in overtime, four of the Grizz wins were in overtime, and one of them came with the game winner coming in the final 30 seconds. The Bulldogs won once in Regulation, the final meeting, March 9th in Victoria by a score of 6-4. No lead has been safe, every game has been entertaining. Drop the puck already!

Catch all the action on Boston Pizza Bulldogs Hockey on 93.3 The Peak FM with the Pacific Chevrolet pregame show kicking off at 7:15 and the play-by-play and colour getting underway at 7:15 with myself and Bruce MacDonald.

Tonight's 1st intermission guest is Bulldogs Defenceman Chase Van Allen, while Chilliwack Chiefs voice Mark Fitzgerald is the 2nd intermission guest. The Chiefs open the Mainland Final tonight in Surrey.

 As always, you can also watch the game through the pay-per-view broadcast through Fast Hockey

The Van Isle Ford Midget Rep Bulldogs picked up an exciting 5-4 win yesterday over Quesnel in the Semi Finals of the Midget Tier 3 Provincials to book a ticket to today's Gold Medal Game at 11:00 at the Mutiplex.

They will face Whistler, who picked up a 2-0 win over Smithers in the other Semi.

Smithers and Quesnel are up in first in the Bronze Medal game at 8:00, with the closing ceremonies following the Gold game.

Full details from the tournament website HERE


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