Sunday, September 08, 2013
Dogs fall to Express 9-4
What an absolutely NUTS hockey game. The two teams couldn't spell defence if you gave them every letter but E. Unfortunately the Dogs weren't able to capitalize on their chances the way the Express did, and for the second year in a row they will head home from the BCHL Showcase with no wins in two games - although last year they at least had a point to show for it.
The Dogs had a great start over the first 3-4 minutes, having several glorious opportunities around the Express net, but Gordy Defiel held the fort. The Express would then answer quickly as the Dogs broke down in their own end and a pretty three-way passing play was finished off by Ryan Rosenthal, with assists to Adam Rockwood and Corey Mackin at 5:41
The Bulldogs pushed back to get on the board through simple fundamentals, winning battles, shooting the puck and going to the net. Hunter Stewart threw a quick shot on goal that deflected wide, where it was found by Jared Wilson who quickly one-timed it on goal where it was deflected home by Mak Barden at 8:53.
On the ensuing shift Barden was set up again and had two good chances but he couldn't bury. The Express would then steam up ice and go ahead as Corey Mackin was allowed to walk into the deep slot where he snapped one through a screen and past the blocker of Rebagliati, with assists to Jackson Cressey and and Shay Laurent at 12:35.
Less than a minute later it was a 3-1 lead as Joey Santucci walked in on the breakaway where he snapped it home at 13:18. That would really open the floodgates as Bo Pieper found the net 1:40 later on the rush, with a backhand toe pull around a defender before snapping it home to make it 4-1 at 14:58. That would do it for Brad Rebagliati as Blake Pearson entered the game in relief.
Pearson would receive a rude welcome as the first shot he faced was a breakaway as a Dog defender got caught stepping up at the blue line as Joey Santucci steamed up the left wing before snapping a perfect shot top corner, glove side on Pearson to make it 5-1 at 15:28 with Cam Marks drawing the only assist.
The Bulldogs would call time out to try and right the ship and the move appeared to work immediately as just 36 seconds later it was a 5-2 game as Hunter Stewart found Justin Georgeson up ice on a 2 on 1 where he made a great move to set up Mak Barden where he finished into the open net at 16:04 to make it a 5-2 game. Before the period was out the Dogs trimmed the gap to 5-3 as Mitch Makin skated from his own end into the Express zone before firing one through the defender's legs top shelf on Defie at the 19:00 mark of the period. Tryg Strand got the only assist, but it looked like Jared Wilson and Blake Pearson were the last two to touch it.
The second period began with a thud for the Dogs, as just over half a minute in the Express struck again as a shot went off the outside of the net where it was found and thrown out front where Joey Santucci one-timed it home through the legs of Pearson to make it 6-2. Assists on the hat trick goal went to R.T. Rice and Cory Boyd. The Express built the lead to 7-2 just over seven minutes into the period on the power play as Cam Marks threw the puck at the net from the top of the point where it hit a Bulldog defender and deflected in past Blake Pearson. Assists went to Cory Boyd and Corey Mackin at 7:25 of the second. The Dogs would get one more before the period was out to get it close to a game again when Dylan Haugen dumped the puck in and chased it down before crashing hard into the end boards - efforts like that were few and far between, with more of them it might have been a different story. The puck would end up at the point for Brett Stewart who walked in and found Zack Funk with a cross-ice pass that he deflected home to make it 7-4 at 13:23 of of the second.
The Dogs had several good chances to make it a two-goal game throughout the remainder of the period, most notably a Tryg Strand breakaway but Defiel kept it out.
The third period didn't see push the Dogs needed to get back into the game, instead the game for the most part was taken to them. It was 8-4 Coquitlam 7:58 in as Nic Rasovic beat his check to the net to deflect home a Joey Santucci pass. Late in the game the final salt in the wound came when Daniell Lange scored on a 4th or 5th rebound to make it a 9-4 final score at 19:16 from Cannon Pieper. It would have been double digits if not for a breakaway save by Pearson in the final moments of the game.
Final shots favoured the Express 47-30 with Brad Rebagliati giving up 4 goals on 10 shots - without a lot of help, while Blake Pearson allowed 4 on 37 shots while Gordie DeFiel picked up the win.
I had the Dogs at 0 for 3 on the power play while the Express went 1 for 3.
I'm a fan of emphasizing the positives...but they are few and far to come by in this one. The effort wasn't there, the intensity wasn't there. The commitment to defence wasn't there. Hey, there was at least a good amount of physical play and some big checks...but without the others, the wins won't be there either.
It's way too early to hit the panic button. Here's hoping the guys learned some lessons, and hate this feeling, and they will put a great week of practice together in preparation for Friday and Saturday.