Sunday, October 20, 2013
Dogs streak hits 7 with 7-4 loss to Vipers
The Dogs and Vipers got going slowly in the first couple of minutes, but action picked up as the period wore on, with the Vipers taking a 1-0 lead on a gift turnover right up the middle of the Dogs zone was thrown at the net by Mason Blacklock. Connor LaCouvee made the first save but Demico Hannoun found it to tuck the loose puck home on the backhand. Colton Sparrow also picked up a helper on the play at 6:12 of the first. The Bulldogs would fail to generate much momentum on two power play chances shortly afterwards, but they got into the game in a big way on the penalty kill with their first shorthanded goal of the season (and a league leading 6th against for Vernon) as Tryg Strand blocked a shot and out-raced and out-fought the defenders to the net on rush. Michael Stiliadis would make a great save on the breakaway chance but he didn't get any help on the rebound as Justin Georgeson joined the rush and fired the loose puck home into the open net to tie it at 1-1 at 15:49 of the first. The Dogs would have several good looks throughout the final four minutes of the period but Stiliadis was sharp to keep it 1-1 after 20 minutes.
The score remained 1-1 until the late stages of the period when the floodgates opened. The Vipers went up 2-1 on a 2 on 1 rush as TJ Dumonceaux kept the puck up the left wing and went top corner on LaCouvee. Josh Bryan got the only assist on the play at 9:32 of the second. It was 3-1 just three minutes later after the Bulldogs failed to connect on the power play and the man out of the box drove the net. The first chance was broken up, but the puck came out from behind the net to Michael McNicholas in the left circle who snapped it top corner, glove side through traffic. Assists went to Josh Betinol and Dexter Dancs at 12:50 of the second. The Dogs would fire back to make it a one-goal game as Tryg Strand took an outlet pass from Josh Adkins and beat a defender to the net where he tucked it home on the backhand to make it 3-2. Rob Click also drew an assist at 14:33 of the second. The Dogs would fail to build on the momentum as less than a minute later another 2 on 1 ended up in the back of their net as Michael McNicholas kept the puck and fired it high, far side past LaCouvee. Dexter Dancs picked up the only assist at 15:23 of the second to make it 5-2. The Vipers added a late one to make it a 5-2 score after 40 minutes as Brendan Persley chipped a pass from behind the net up and over LaCouvee from in tight. Assists went to TJ Dumonceaux and Ken Citron at 19:17 of the second.
The Bulldogs looked to catch a considerable break in the third period as a TJ Dumonceaux shorthanded breakaway appeared to go under the crossbar and in, but the Referee - who was in good position to make the call - waved it off. The Dogs would make the most of the opportunity, making it 5-3 shortly afterwards as Justin Georgeson lost his stick and kicked the puck to Hunter Stewart, who walked to the slot and beat Stiliadis low, short-side. Riley Ostoforoff also picked up an assist in the play at 9:47 of the third. Just 16 seconds later the Dog Pound was really alive as Scott Clark scored his first career goal with a top corner, short-side snapper from the right circle, with Josh Adkins picking up the only assist to make it 5-4. The Dogs would push hard and have several great chances to tie it up but they couldn't find the net before the Vipers scored twice into an empty net to ice it, the first from Michael McNicholas at 19:30 from Michael Statchuk, while the first career goal from Statchuk came came 19 seconds later, unassisted, for the 7-4 Final.
Shots favoured the Vipers 34-30 with Connor LaCouvee and Michael Stiliadis being the goalies of record. The Dogs went 1 for 6 on the power play while also scoring once shorthanded, while the Vipers went 0 for 4.