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Friday, January 17, 2014

Dogs win second straight, 4-2 over Silverbacks

The Bulldogs almost had a horrific start to the game, as they won the opening draw but the last Defenceman back fell down allowing a breakaway for Alex Gillies, who would put a shot wide of the net. Beyond the first 7 seconds, the Bulldogs dominated the first period for the most part, running up a 7-0 lead in shots and taking a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard as Kurt Gosselin threw a shot at the net from the left point that hit traffic before Mitch Makin found it and put it on net. Adam Clark would make the first save, but he couldn't control the rebound as Craig Martin found it and fired it home from in tight to make it 1-0 Dogs 2:52 into the game. The Dogs continued to control the play, getting good scoring chances including hitting the goal post, running up a 13-2 lead in shots at the Media timeout with 7:36 left in the period. The Silverbacks would promptly tie the game though, with a Bulldogs defender stepping up at centre ice and getting neither the player or the puck as Alex Jewell raced in down the right wing on a 2 on 1 rush where he went top corner, far side over the glove of LaCouvee to tie it at 1-1 with assists to Taylor Maruya and Brett Fagerheim at 12:40 of the first period. The Bulldogs would fire back to take a lead into the room with a power play goal late in the period when a Darian Henry shot was blocked, only to end up going off Mitch Makin and then the stick of Hunter Stewart and onto the tape of Mitch Owsley between the hashmarks where he went top corner over the glove of Clark for his second goal in as many games at 17:55 of the first. The Dogs had a 15-7 lead in shots after 20 minutes.

The second period saw the Silverbacks pick up their pace of play, aided by two power plays opportunities through the first half of the period. They would threaten with several scrambles around the net, but Connor LaCouvee and the penalty killers came up big. The score stayed 2-1 until the late stages of the period when the Bulldogs were hemmed in their zone after several poor passes and clearing attempts which saw the 'Backs tie the game when Cole McCaskill picked off a pass up the middle and threw a shot on net that deflected off a Bulldog stick before finding it's way past the glove arm of LaCouvee. The goal was unassisted at 15:56 of the second.

Intensity was high in the third period, with each team getting several good scoring chances around the crease but both LaCouvee and Clark stood tall. The Silverbacks would have a great chance to take the lead on a shorthanded 2 on 1 on a pretty give and go but LaCouvee came up with a huge save going side to side to rob Alex Jewell. Just over a minute later the Bulldogs went ahead 3-2 when they raced out of their zone on an odd-man rush where Josh Adkins sent Dylan Haugen in alone with a perfect cross ice pass that he ripped top corner, far side over the glove of Clark to make it 3-2 Dogs with 8:54 to play. The Dogs penalty kill would be tested on back to back occasions with seven and three minutes to go in the third but they came up huge to preserve the lead until the final minute when Hunter Stewart stole the puck at centre and fired it into the empty net for the insurance marker with 28 seconds to play, unassisted, for the 4-2 Final.

Shots favoured the Bulldogs 30-25 with Connor LaCouvee picking up 3rd star honours while Adam Clark took the loss. Special teams were again a huge difference, with the Dogs going 1 for 4 on the power play while the Silverbacks went 0 for 5.

It's the second straight 4-2 win for the Dogs over the Backs, and a really good way to start the road trip. Now it's off to Vernon tomorrow to face the Vipers.


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