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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Dogs top Chiefs 7-2

The Chiefs would have the best start of the game inside the first minute, as the Dogs were caught deep and the Chiefs raced up ice on a 3 on 1 rush. Connor LaCouvee would come up with a huge save moving from his left to right to get a blocker on it to keep it out. The Bulldogs found the net shortly afterwards after several great chances around the crease when the puck came back to the right point for Kurt Gosselin, who walked to the middle and fired a wrist shot on goal that went through Josh Halpenny. Mitch Makin picked up the only assist at 5:45 of the first. The Dogs would go to the power play just over a minute later looking to build the lead, but the best chance early went to the Chiefs as Mathieu Tibbet was sent in alone on a shorthanded breakaway where LaCouvee made a huge glove save to keep it out. The Dogs would push back and had several great chances around the net stay out, before it looked like they took a 2-0 lead when a shot from the line found it's way home with Justin Georgeson screening in front, appearing to be outside of the crease, and making minimal contact with Halpenny. The Referee appeared initially to signal goal, however the Officials met in the circle and eventually called no goal due to incidental contact on the goaltender. The Chiefs would make the most of the break, coming up ice and scoring just seconds afterwards when Austin Plevy sent Mathieu Tibbet in alone on the breakaway where he scored with a backhand deke, five-hole on LaCouvee. Carter Cochrane also drew an assist on the play at 12:14 of the second. The game would change and be much more even and less one-side in favour of the Bulldogs as the teams headed to the room tied 1-1 after one, with the Dogs out-shooting the Chiefs 16-10.

The second period was great to watch, with end-to-end, fast paced hockey. The Bulldogs would take their second lead of the game just over seven minutes into the period when Harlan Orr banked it up the right wing to set up a 2 on 1 rush where Scott Clark made a perfect pass onto the tape of Zak Bowles driving the net where he made several moves in tight before going top corner, far side on Halpenny. Garrett Halls picked up the second assist at 7:02 of the second to make it 2-1. The Chiefs would have a great chance just seconds later to tie it up when Austin Plevy raced in on a breakaway, but again LaCouvee came up huge with his glove to keep it out. The Dogs would build the lead in the final minute of the period when Justin Georgeson walked out from behind the net and showed good patience with the puck before throwing one on net from a sharp angle that somehow found it's way off Halpenny and into the back of the net. Quinton Wunder picked up the only assist on the play at 19:17 of the second for a 3-1 Dogs lead after two, with the Dogs up 31-23 in the shots.

The Dogs began the third period on the power play after a dust up to end the second, and they would connect on it early to lead 4-1 as Mak Barden took a pass at the top of the point from Kurt Gosselin that he one-timed on goal. Halpenny would make the first save, but he couldn't find the rebound before Mitch Makin jammed it home from the top of the crease, 42 seconds into the third. The Chiefs would go to the power play shortly afterwards, but they took themselves off of it taking a penalty in front of the Dogs net. With the teams playing four aside, the Chiefs would take another penalty for running over Connor LaCouvee who was out playing the puck behind the Dogs net. The Dogs would go to a 5 on 3 power play that they made quick work on as Kurt Gosselin took a pass from Justin Georgeson and walked into the deep slot where he blew a slap shot top corner, short-side on Halpenny at 5:11 of the third for a 5-1 Dogs lead. The Chiefs would get that one back just three minutes later on a pretty power play set up as Austin Plevy took a pass at the bottom of the right circle and one-touched it to Jake Hand who scored on a one-timer from the faceoff dot, high short-side on LaCouvee, with Cody Bardock also assisting at 8:44 of the third to make it 5-2. The Dogs increased the cushion back to four goals four minutes later on a crazy sequence in the Chiefs zone as several shots off the stick of Darian Henry were blocked, before Halpenny made a save at the side of the net. The puck ended up back on the tape of Henry, who wasted no time in one-timing a slap shot home low, far-side on Halpenny. Assists on the play went to Mak Barden and Tryg Strand at 12:54 of the third for a 6-2 Dogs lead. They would add one more four minutes later to rub some salt in the wound as Justin Georgeson lifted the puck to centre and joined the play where he took a pass over the Chiefs line from Craig Martin and walked around a couple of defenders through the slot before tucking a backhand past Halpenny for a 7-2 score and the eventual Final.

Shots favoured the Dogs 49-28, with Connor LaCouvee picking up the win while Josh Halpenny took the loss. The Dogs went 2 for 7 on the power play while the Chiefs went 1 for 3.

With the win, the Dogs are just two points back of the Capitals for the final Island Division Playoff spot, with a game in hand. The Dogs are in Duncan Friday, and home against the Grizzlies on Saturday. 

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