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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Dogs host Kings tonight to finish Regular Season

It's the conclusion of the Regular Season tonight as the Bulldogs (20-28-2-7, 5th Island) host the Powell River Kings (36-15-2-4, T-1st Island) at the Dog Pound, with a berth in the Playoffs on the line. It seems almost fitting with how this season started and the hole that the Dogs were in, that if they make the playoffs that it would come down to the final day of the season.

As has seemed to be the case much too often, the Dogs didn't get any help on the out of scoreboard last night as the Capitals beat the Grizzlies 6-4 in Duncan. With the win the Caps pulled a point ahead of the Dogs into 4th place, basically making the Bulldogs magic number with 1 game to go a 2. Meaning - for the Dogs to make the playoffs they need a combination of a Capital loss in Victoria and a win themselves over Powell River. Of course the Dogs only can have a hand in deciding one of those outcomes, and that is the only one they need to focus on.

The Kings were in Nanaimo last night where they beat the Clippers 3-2 for their fourth win in a row. They will come in tonight with plenty to play for as the Kings and Grizzlies are tied for tops on the Island with 78 points.

Quite the final night of hockey around the league tonight as 1st and 2nd place along with the 4th and 5th spots in the Island are up for grabs, as is 1st and 2nd in the Interior! What's also of note is that  none of the teams battling for those places in the standings play head to head tonight.

I have been asked numerous times lately if the Bulldogs have ever been in this position before. The answer is....not really, but sort of - read on for a brief history lesson! 

My first season in the Alberni Valley (2003-2004, the Bulldogs second season) saw a crossover exist between the Island Divsion, which had five teams, and the Mainland Division, which had four teams. Should the fifth place Island team at the end of the Regular Season have more points than the fourth placed Mainland team, the Island team would crossover to the Mainland for the Playoffs. Both the Bulldogs and the Victoria Salsa (yes, they were named Salsa, long story!) had more points than the Langley Hornets, meaning SOMEONE was going out of their division for the Playoffs. It came down to the final game of the season to find out who, with the Bulldogs going down to Victoria where they beat the Salsa in a barn-burner. The Dogs were down 4-3 with less than 10 to play before Josh Bonar tied it while shorthanded, before Mike Distefano scored the winner with two minutes to go en route to win 6-4.

Long story short, the Dogs stayed on the Island as the bottom seed and played the top-ranked Cowichan Valley Capitals. The Bulldogs would go on to upset the Capitals in six games and win their first ever Playoff series as a franchise. Anyone who was a fan then will most likely NEVER forget Curtis Tidball scoring the Game 6 winner at a sold-right-out Dog Pound.

Don't miss a second of the action on Van Isle Ford Bulldogs Hockey on 93.3 The Peak FM with myself, Bruce MacDonald and Dan "the stats man" Tisserand providing the play-by-play, analysis/ colour and statistics. The broadcast begins with the pregame show at 6:45 with the puck drop to follow at 7:00pm

If you aren't in listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:

Listening Live on your computer:
Listening Live on your SmartPhone :
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone

Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is another alumni - Josh Mitchell, a Bulldog from 2009-10 through 2011-12, and the leading scorer of the team in 10-11 and 11-12. He's now in his second season with the RIT Tigers of the NCAA.

See you tonight, pack the shack, BE LOUD BE PROUD 


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