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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dogs dig out of 2-0 hole after two, fall 3-2 in OT to Grizz

The Grizzlies were the better team early, and took an early 1-0 lead helped by back-to-back penalty calls against the Dogs in the first four minutes of the game as they connected on the second man advantage chance on the rush when Myles Fitzgerald took a cross-ice pass and walked in tight on LaCouvee before firing a low shot home short-side. Jesse Schwartz and Gerry Fitzgerald picked up the assists at 5:13 of the first. It was the Dogs turn to go to the power play shortly afterwards, and they came THAT close to tying the game as Kurt Gosselin fired a wrist shot from the line that hit the post and stayed out. Seconds after the penalty elapsed, the Grizzles went up 2-0, again on the rush as Kurt Gosselin did a good job to force Myles Fitzgerald behind the goal line but no one picked up Gerry Fitzgerald who one-timed a pass from Myles from the top of the crease past LaCouvee. Jesse Schwartz again also picked up an assist on the play at 10:25 of the first. The Bulldogs did a good job to push back inspite of the score, and drew two additional penalties. While they didn't score, they had several good chances with Alec Dillon coming up big on deflections and a goal mouth scramble to keep it 2-0 Grizzlies after one, with the Grizz leading in the shots 14-10.

The Bulldogs came out with a noticeable jump in their step to start the second period, and carried the bulk of the play from the outset and through the better part of the period. They had countless good looks turned away at the net by both Alec Dillon and the Grizzlies defence as the Dogs were unable to break the goose-egg to trail 2-0 after two periods, with the Dogs outshooting the Grizzlies 10-9 on the period for a 23-20 Grizzlies advantage after 40 minutes.

The Bulldogs would finally find the net just over a minute and a half into the third period as Kurt Gosselin poked the puck to centre ice for Justin Georgeson up the right wing. He would delay as he gained the Grizzlies zone before throwing a cross-ice pass that went off the stick of Scott Clark and onto the tape of Tryg Strand who walked right down the middle and fired a snap shot, low blocker side on Dillon at 1:37 of the third. The Dogs would tie it up five minutes later with one of the goals of the season -while shorthanded as Kurt Gosselin made a fantastic play and as opposed to just clearing the puck down the ice he took an extra second to put a perfect stretch pass onto the tape of Mitch Makin at centre ice. Makin would out race the Grizzlies defender to skate in on breakaway, where h was tripped up. While sliding on his knees, he was able to control the puck and fire a wrist shot past the blocker of Dillon. Incredibly, the goal was scored as unassisted, at 6:30 of the third to tie the game at 2-2 as the Dog Pound erupted. The Grizzlies would push back and control the better of the play until late in regulation when the Dogs also had a couple of good chances, most notably Justin Georgeson at the side of the net where Dillon made two saves as Georgeson attemped to go high, short-side.

Here's the Makin goal...


The OT period went both ways, with the Dogs having the best chance early as Justin Georgeson set up Scott Clark driving the net with a cross-ice pass, but Dillon stuck out his pad to keep it out. The Grizzlies would win it seconds later on a bad turnover right up the middle that was picked off by Garrett Foster who blew a slap shot top corner, blocker side on LaCouvee to win the game 3-2 at 2:59 of overtime, unassisted.

Final shots favoured the Grizzlies 37-29, with Alec Dillon picking up the win while Connor LaCouvee took the loss while earning 2nd star honours. The Dogs went 0 for 3 on the power play, while also scoring once shorthanded, their second of the year, while the Grizzlies went 1 for 4.

The Dogs are next in action Friday in Nanaimo, before facing the Grizzlies Saturday at Bear Mountain Arena. 

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