Friday, February 07, 2014
Dogs win second straight, 2-1 over Spruce Kings
After a challenging start to the day saw the Bulldogs unable to get to their game day skate due to a frozen bus, they started the game quite well with a good number of chances early and a good jump in their step. The Spruce Kings would push back and really got their feet moving as the period wore on, as they attacked the Dogs zone with speed and had a handful of odd-man rushes and breakaways. The Dogs would have a great chance early on a breakaway just under five minutes in when Zak Bowles broke up a pass at the defensive line and raced in on a 2 on 1 rush where he put a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of Dylan Haugen, who skated in alone. Haugen would make a nice move cutting across the crease going to his backhand, but Jesse Jenks stuck with him and made a solid save. Seconds later, it was LaCouvee's turn as he made a breakaway stop on Jeremiah Luedtke. The Spruce Kings would open the scoring on another odd-man rush, coming off a faceoff in their own end as they won the draw and flew up ice and found the back of the net as a cross-ice pass appeared to hit Luedtke and go in through the fivehole of LaCouvee. Assists on the play went to Chad Stahley and Karan Toor at 10:27 of the first. The Bulldogs would keep it 1-0 with a good penalty kill shortly afterwards, before they went to the power play later in the frame looking to tie the game. They would give up a shorthanded breakaway early in the advantage, but LaCouvee again came up big to rob Cole Todd. A crazy period continued seconds later as Tryg Strand was sent in alone, but Jenks came up big with a glove save to keep it 1-0 Spruce Kings after 20 minutes, with Prince George leading the shots 12-11.
The second period saw the Bulldogs come out and have the better of the chances early, but Jenks continued to play solid in the Spruce Kings net. At the tail end of a Bulldog power play a large skirmish erupted on a late hit from behind on Darian Henry, that saw Mitch Makin challenge Brent Lashuk. The whistle sounded to stop play as cooler heads seemed to prevail, albeit momentarily as Justin Georgeson showed good discipline in taking several punches before eventually dropping the gloves and getting the decision in a spirited bout with Skylar Pacheco. The events seemed to fire up the Bulldogs, as they would tie the game up on the next shift as Harlan Orr put a cross-ice pass on the tape of Scott Clark at the Bulldog line where he chipped it onto the tape of Jake Kauppila. He would go end-to-end up the left wing and drive the net where he put a perfect shot top corner, short-side off the back bar over Jenks to tie the game at 1-1 at 9:59 of the second. The Bulldogs would carry the play the remainder of the period and while they had a handful of great scoring chances they couldn't build the lead as it was 1-1 after 40 minutes with the Dogs out-shooting the Spruce Kings 16-5 over the period for a 27-17 advantage after two.
The third period started very slow, with a series of icings and pucks going out of play. As the period wore on, it was hotly contested with each team fighting for the go ahead marker. The Spruce Kings would have a power play early, but the Dogs killed it with LaCouvee making a big save on Jeremy Rai. The score stayed 1-1 until the late stages of the third when the Dogs went ahead 2-1 as Tryg Strand made a good defensive play in his own end and carried the puck up the right wing into the Prince George zone. He would then go to the slot where he was set up by Hunter Stewart who made a great one-handed pass onto his tape where he one-timed it home low past the glove of Jenks to make it 2-1 with 4:40 to play, with Justin Georgeson also picking up an assist. The Bulldogs would make the lead stand, with LaCouvee making one more good save on a cross-ice pass with three minutes to go to preserve the lead.
Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 41-25 with Connor LaCouvee picking up the win while Jesse Jenks earned 1st star honours with the loss. The Dogs went 0 for 2 on the power play while the Spruce Kings went 0 for 4.
With the win, the Dogs remain a point up on the Capitals for 4th place on the Island as the Caps beat Nanaimo 4-3 in double OT.
The Dogs are in Merritt tomorrow for a 7:30 start time against the Centennials.