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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dogs fall 2-1 in double OT, pick up huge point to take over 4th place

The Bulldogs got off to a good start despite the long travel day, taking an early lead in shots. The Kings would get their feet under the and carry the play through the middle part of the first, taking a 1-0 lead when Kurt Keats picked up the puck off a draw in the Dogs end and threw a shot on goal that went off Connor LaCouvee's stick and under the bar to make it 1-0, unassisted,  5:41 into the game. The Kings would have several opportunities to build the lead, but LaCouvee came up big in tight to keep it 1-0. The Kings would go to the power play where they had a goal disallowed as a point shot was deflected home by Luke Nogard, but it was waved off due to a high-stick. The Bulldogs would push back and get some good chances later in the period but they couldn't beat Smith as it was 1-0 Kings after one with the Kings leading the shots 18-11.

The Bulldogs came out flying in the second, parlaying their solid play into a power play chance where they got a bunch of pucks on net, but not past Smith as they ran up an early 7-0 lead in shots in the period. The Kings would go to the power play twice to try and build the lead, but again LaCouvee and the penalty killers held to keep it a one-goal game. The Bulldogs would battle back to tie it up in the late stages of the period as Josh Adkins found Dylan Haugen at the top of the crease where he jammed one home up and over Smith to make it 1-1, with Zach Funk also drawing an assist on the play at 16:14 of the second. A soft after the whistle penalty to Zak Bowles shortly afterwards saw the Kings again go to the power play, but an even-up call came in short order as the period ended with the teams playing four-aside hockey, with the Kings leading the shots 33-24. 

The third period was played at a high pace with great end to end hockey. The Bulldogs would go to a power play with just over ten minutes to play in regulation looking for the go-ahead goal and looked great on it generating a handful of chances, but they couldn't capitalize. The Kings would get a power play immediately afterwards, but again the Dogs held the fort. Neither teams would hit the net through the third period, with the Kings leading in the shots 41-36 after 60 minutes.

The first OT was played at a high intensity, but there was little in the way of pucks on net with each team just putting one shot on goal. The game would end early in the second overtime period with a pretty play as they won possession of the opening draw and regrouped in their own zone and caught the Dogs puck watching as Kyle Chatham took off up the left wing and accepted a pass before gaining the Dogs zone and feeding a cross-ice pass onto the tape of Drew Dorantes who drove the net and slid it home 15 seconds into 3-on-3 double OT with Chatham picking up the only assist for the 2-1 Final.

Shots favoured the Kings 43-37 with Connor LaCouvee taking the loss while earning 3rd star honours while Jeff Smith picked up 2nd star honours with the win. The Dogs went 0 for 4 on the power play while the Kings went 0 for 6.

With the single point earned, the Dogs take over 4th place and the final Island Division Playoff spot. They are next in action Saturday night at the Dog Pound when they host the Kings to conclude the Regular Season.

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