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Friday, January 10, 2014

Dogs drop heartbreaker 2-1 to Caps in OT

Outstanding hockey to watch in this one, with great pace early and the Bulldogs carrying the bulk of the play throughout the frame. There was just one whistle through the first 10 minutes of hockey as the game went end-to-end. The Bulldogs would have the better of the chances through the period but they couldn't find the back of the net. Both Craig Martin and Kurt Gosselin would hit the post. It looked like the Dogs might have taken the lead on a Justin Georgeson breakaway, but no Officials were in position to make a call as the play developed fast off the rush on a Defensive zone draw for the Dogs. The Capitals Defence would arrive on the scene to shovel the puck back into Robin Gusse, and the goal light didn't go on. Shots favoured the Dogs 10-9 over the period.

The second period started with the Capitals upping their level of play, and the Bulldogs appearing to be a step behind. It looked like Kyle Horsman had a sure goal on an in-alone chance and a wide open net, but he couldn't convert. Another breakaway shortly afterwards for Dane Gibson was stopped by LaCouvee, but the Capitals would draw a penalty on the play. They would capitalize on the opportunity as Jarrett Brown drove the net and scored on a rebound off a Mason Malkowich shot. Clint Filbrandt also picked up an assist on the play at 2:40 of the second. The Capitals came close to doubling their lead seconds later on another power play on an after the whistle penalty to the Dogs as a centering pass to the slot was deflected on net and through Connor LaCouvee, but it was saved off the goal line by the Dogs defence. The Bulldogs would turn the tide and control the bulk of the play throughout the remainder of the period, but once again couldn't find the back of the net as it stayed 1-0 Caps after 40 minutes with the Dogs leading the shots 24-17.

The Bulldogs started the third period on the power play, and made good on the chance to tie the game 1-1 as Kurt Gosselin and Craig Martin set up Harlan Orr at the top of the point. Orr would beat a stunned Gusse with a low wrist shot, far-side just inside the post to make it 1-1 at 1:37 of the period. The goal was un-assisted, but certainly cleanly set up with two quick passes. Neither team would find the net the rest of the way as the game headed to overtime. The Dogs would have the best chance early on a rush, but no one could get a stick on a puck at the front of the net. The Capitals would come down ice and win the game when Myles Powell stole the puck in the Dogs zone and put a quick release on net from the high slot off the post and in far side on LaCouvee. The goal was unassisted, 57 seconds into OT.

Final shots favoured the Capitals 33-31 with Robin Gusse picking up the win and 1st star honours while Connor LaCouvee took 2nd star honours with the loss. Both teams went unofficially 1 for 3 on the power play. I'm not sure how the box score will look as a third period penalty parade saw four-aside hockey, a 4 on 3 power play for the Dogs, etc.

A very very tough loss for the Dogs, but they can only move on and look forward to Salmon Arm tomorrow night, and two huge points up for grabs with the Dogs now three points back of Capitals for the final Playoff spot in the Island Division.

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