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Friday, February 21, 2014

Grizzlies edge Dogs 3-1, rematch tomorrow at the Dog Pound

A spirited start to the game, with both teams appearing ready to play from the out set. An early scrap brought some excitement to the game as Mitch Makin challenged Jesse Schwartz, no doubt due to Schwartz running over Bulldogs Goalie Nathan Warren the last time these teams met. The teams would trade chances early, with each side having good opportunities. The Grizzlies would open the scoring on the rush just short of the midway mark of the first as Gerry Fitzgerald carried the puck over the Dogs line up the right wing and back of the net before walking out front and scoring top corner, far-side on LaCouvee at 9:07 of the first. The Bulldogs would push hard to tie it up having several scrambles around the Grizzlies net but they were unable to connect as the Grizzlies led 1-0 after one, with the Dogs up 11-10 in the shots.

The score remained 1-0 through the midway mark of the second, with the Bulldogs having a great chance early in the frame when Justin Georgeson skated in on a breakaway, only to be stopped by Alec Dillon while fighting off a defender. That would pretty much do it for their offence throughout the period though, as the Grizzlies carried the bulk of the play throughout, hemming the Dogs in for extended periods in their own end. They would build their lead to 2-0 at the 13:04 mark as Storm Wahlrab knocked down a shot at the side of the net and pulled it around a fallen LaCouvee, with assists going to Jaden Schmeisser and Jay Mackie. Connor LaCouvee would keep the Dogs in it throughout the period, with the Grizzlies outshooting the Dogs 17-4.

The Grizzlies continued to dictate the play through the first half of the third period, with the Dogs unable to generate much in the way of good scoring chances, with Connor LaCouvee again coming up time and again to keep his team in it. They would reward him by getting on the board to make it a whole new game with just under nine minutes to play when Garrett Halls carried the puck over the Grizzlies line up the left wing where he got it on the stick of Tryg Strand, who threw a cross-ice pass onto the tape of Justin Georgeson, who one-timed it home to make it 2-1 at 11:39 of the third. The Dogs weren't able to get the equalizer despite several good chances, including a great look at the side of the net with a minute to go and the goalie pulled for the extra attacker. The Grizzlies would seal the deal when they stole the puck at centre, as Myles Fitzgerald scored from the left wing wall, unassisted, with :52 seconds to play for the 3-1 Final score.

Edit - an assist was added after the game to Gerry Fitzgerald on the empty netter.

Shots favoured the Grizzlies 38-23 with Connor LaCouvee picking up 2nd star honours while taking the loss, with Alec Dillon picking up the win. The Grizzlies went 0 for 3 on the power play, while the Dogs couldn't buy a call and didn't earn a power play chance.

The two teams go at it tomorrow night at the Dog Pound, with the Dogs now in what's pretty close to a must win as they sit two points back of the Capitals who topped the Clippers 7-2 in Duncan tonight.


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