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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Dogs top Kings 3-0, will defend Island Title in Playoffs

The game had an odd start, with the Bulldogs penalized within the first 30 seconds. The Kings would be sent to the box 30 seconds into their power play after Dylan Haugen drew a penalty. Early shots would be 3-0 Kings, before the Bulldogs went ahead 4-3. The best early chance of the game went to the Kings as Brendyn Smith skated in on a partial breakaway that was stopped by LaCouvee. The Bulldogs would have several great looks at the Kings net when Kurt Gosselin hit the post from the left half-boards, and Justin Georgeson just missed an empty net after Kings netminder Jeff Smith misplayed a dump in. Neither team would find the net through the first, with the shots favouring Powell River 13-10.

The Bulldogs would go to a power play early in the second after Luke Nogard took the extra two minutes prior to dropping the mitts with Quinton Wunder. The Dogs would connect on the power play when Justin Georgeson fed the puck to the left point for Darian Henry, who threw a shot on net that missed short-side. The end-board carom would come out at the opposite side of the net onto the tape of Hunter Stewart, who one-timed it home before Smith could get back to the post. Jake Kauppila and Darian Henry would pick up the assists at 1:07 of the second. There would be no scoring throughout the remainder of the period with both teams having their chances around the net, as the Dogs led in the shots after 40 minutes 26-23.

The third period started with a bang, as the Bulldogs raced up ice on an odd-man rush that saw Harlan Orr throw a cross-ice pass from the right wing on net where it was deflected home by Jake Kauppila to make it 2-0 at the :23 second mark, with Ryan Buse also drawing an assist on the play. It would prove to be all the offense the Dogs needed, with Connor LaCouvee coming up with a handful of huge saves most notably on a 2 on 1 rush as he went side to side to rob Jarryd Leung to protect the lead. The Kings would pull their goalie for the extra attacker but the Dogs would erase all doubt when Mitch Makin blocked a shot and chased down the loose puck to score into the empty net from centre ice, unassisted at 18:10 for the 3-0 Final.

Final shots favoured the Kings 40-32 with Connor LaCouvee picking up 1st star honours with the win, and his league leading 4th shut out while Jeff Smith took the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 3 on the power play while the Kings went 0 for 3.

With the win, coupled with the Capitals losing 5-2 in Victoria, the Bulldogs have made the Playoffs. They begin defence of their Island Championship Tuesday in Victoria for Game 1 of the Best of Seven series.

Tickets for Bulldog Home Games go on sale Monday at 9am at the Bulldogs Office.

In a word....Unreal.


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