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Saturday, January 04, 2014

Dogs top Spruce Kings 5-2 in solid effort

The Bulldogs looked ready to play and inspired to be back on Home Ice as they had a noticeable jump to their step from the opening puck drop. They would battle hard to take a 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the game as a mad scramble was finished off by Jakson Elynuik from the deep slot. Harlan Orr picked up the only assist on the play at 3:29 of the first. The Spruce Kings would kill off a Bulldog power play, and score almost immediately afterwards as Jeremiah Luedtke went to the net and fired a cross-ice pass home to make it 1-1 at 6:15 from Chad Staley and Christian Weidauer. The Spruce Kings had an outstanding chance to go up 2-1 on an odd-man rush but Connor LaCouvee stuck his right toe out to keep an in-tight chance out. The Bulldogs would push back and answer back in the dying seconds of a power play chance as Craig Martin walked down the left wing and ripped a Justin Georgeson pass top corner, short-side on a quick release. Kurt Gosselin also picked up an assist on the play at 15:19 of the first. The Dogs went to the power play again a minute and a half later, and they connected again on a pretty set up as Hunter Stewart found Darian Henry at the point, who put a perfect pass on the tape of Justin Georgeson at the side of the net where he one-touched it top corner from a sharp angle at 18:57 of the period to make it 3-1 Dogs after one, with the shots even at 8-8.

The Bulldogs kept up the intensity to start the second, finishing off another hard working shift in the zone with a goal as Tryg Strand initially kept the puck in the zone with a great second and third effort. He would later in the shift hit the post or crossbar. The puck would end up in the left corner, where Scottie Clark made a fantastic pass from his stomach to get the puck out front onto the tape of Mitch Makin who beat Jenks with a backhand far-side to make it 4-1 at 3:50 of the period. There would be no scoring the rest of the frame, with the Dogs out-shooting the Spruce Kings 13-10 for a 40 minute total of 21-18.

The 2nd Intermission featured the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society's $50,000 Lottery draw - big congrats to Ron Caldwell, a former member of the Bulldog Ownership group, on being the big winner! 952 tickets were sold, just 48 short of a sell out. Incredible support by Port Alberni, and also by all the Bulldogs Alumni and their families for purchasing tickets!

The Spruce Kings would trim the gap to 4-2 early in the third period when the Dogs had control of the puck but failed to connect on a D to D pass, resulting in a odd-man rush for the Kings from the blue line in that was finished off by Justin Rai who fired a Jeremiah Luedtke feed past the blocker of LaCouvee from the slot at 3:45 of the third. The only goal the rest of the way came from Jakson Elynuik as he roofed a loose puck at the side of the net on another hard working goal with Harlan Orr and Mitch Makin picking up the assists at 14:26 of the third for the 5-2 Final.

Shots favoured the Dogs 30-26 with Connor LaCouvee picking up the win while Jesse Jenks took the loss. The Dogs went 2 for 5 on the power play while the Spruce Kings went 0 for 4. 


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