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Friday, December 06, 2013

Dogs top Caps 5-2, close gap for final Playoff spot

Before most of the late arriving fans got in their seats, it was 1-0 Capitals as the Dogs coughed the puck up in their own zone up the middle where it was picked off. An odd-man rush to the net ended up in it on a cross-crease pass onto the tape of Myles Powell who one-timed it under the crossbar from the top of the crease. Assists on the play went to Colton Kehler and Dane Gibson at the :15 second mark. After the horrendous start, I thought the Dogs responded well to get into the game, but they couldn't send the bears flying through 20 minutes as the Caps carried the 1-0 lead to the room with the Dogs up 11-10 in the shots.

The Bulldogs came out inspired to start the second period, and quickly found the net to send the bears flying on a delayed penalty to the Capitals as Zach Funk found a centering pass from Josh Adkins that he fired low, past the glove of Robin Gusse. Dylan Haugen also picked up an assist on the play at 1:33 of the second.

The Dogs continued to carry the play, taking their first lead of the game five minutes later when Mitch Makin found his own rebound after a great first save by Gusse and used his size and reach to tuck a wrap-around home. Justin Georgeson and Harlan Orr picked up the assists at 6:47 of the second. The Dogs would continue to carry the play, building their lead to 3-1 at the tail end of a power play when Hunter Stewart found Darian Henry in the deep slot where he faked a slap shot before sliding right and then firing a wrist shot long side, past the blocker of Gusse. Zach Funk also drew an assist at 13:59 of the second. It wasn't a two goal game for long however, as less than a minute later the Dogs got caught stepping up in neutral ice resulting in a 3 on 1 rush that the Caps....capitalized on, when Myles Powell dished to Dane Gibson in the slot, who in turn fed it cross-ice onto the tape of Colton Kehler who fired it into the open side before LaCouvee could get over to make it 3-2 at 14:53 of the second. As quickly as they relinquished the two goal lead, the Dogs got it back in short order when they found the net less than two minutes later when Mitch Makin found a loose puck near the goal line that he spun and fired on net from a sharp angle that eluded Gusse. Justin Georgeson and Harlan Orr picked up the helpers at 16:13 of the second, for a 4-2 Dogs lead after 40 minutes, with the Dogs out-shooting the Capitals 21-4 over the period.

The Bulldogs came out and controlled the play early in the third period, however they took a penalty after what seemed like over 90 seconds of hemming the Capitals in their zone. The penalty kill came up big to protect the lead. While the Capitals would have several good chances, they couldn't trim the gap, despite another opportunity on the power play with just over three minutes to play but again LaCouvee and the Dogs penalty killers came up huge to protect the lead. The Dogs would seal the deal into an empty net when Mitch Makin lifted the puck to centre ice to Hunter Stewart, who fed Tryg Strand at the Capitals line where he fought the puck through his check into the open cage for the 5-2 Final.

Shots favoured the Bulldogs 39-28 with Connor LaCouvee picking up the win while Robin Gusse took the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 3 on the power play while the Capitals went 0 for 4.

While the Dogs have tomorrow night off from game action, they will still be at the rink as they will be taking part in the "Battle of the Badges" Guns N' Hoses game featuring the Port Alberni Fire Department taking on the Port Alberni RCMP, all for some fun and for a good cause, supporting the Port Alberni Association for Community Living. Game time is 7:00, admission is by donation.

The Dogs take on the Chilliwack Chiefs at the Dog Pound at 2pm Sunday.

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