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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Grizzlies take 1-0 series lead with 3-0 win

The game from the opening puck drop looked very much like an opening game of a Playoff series as both teams appeared to be feeling each other out over the first five minutes. The Grizzlies were initially awarded a goal on a 2 on 1 rush when Gerry Fitzgerald rang a puck off the post that ended up in the corner. The goal judge did not turn on the goal light, but Referee Adam Griffiths would signal goal. After consulting with the goal judge, and the other three officials, a goal wasn't awarded. The period would end in a scoreless tie, with the shots favouring the Grizzlies 11-5.

The second period saw the pace pick up a bit, with each team having their chances early. The Grizzlies would open the scoring on a jam in play in tight as a broken play ended up on the lip of the crease for Storm Wahlrab, who managed to sneak one through LaCvouvee and just over the goal line. Assists on the play went to Mark McLellan and Jay Mackie at 5:40 of the second. The Bulldogs would struggle to get going as the Grizzlies had the better of the play, as the Bulldogs were sent to the penalty box back-to-back-to-back, two of the three being on boarding penalties drawn by Cole Pickup, the final one on a late whistle. The Bulldogs would kill off the first two penalties, and were down to the final four seconds of the third straight penalty, but the Grizzlies connected to double the lead 2-0 when Garrett Forster found Jesse Schwartz in the slot where he snapped one past LaCouvee to make it 2-0. Rory McGuire also picked up an assist on the play at 16:54 of the second with the Grizzlies taking the lead into the room, leading in the shots 27-11.

The third period saw the Bulldogs have a little more jump in their step, but it was almost immediately taken away when the Grizzlies went to their fifth straight power play on a neutral ice slashing call. The Bulldogs would kill it off, but for the most part they were unable to generate a sustained offensive attack in the Grizzlies zone through the first half of the period. While they had several opportunities to generate chances on the rush, they weren't able to get pucks on net and capitalize on them. The Bulldogs would finally draw a penalty with less than eight minutes to play, and then drew another one with a minute and change to go. They would generate several chances but couldn't bury to make a game of it as the Grizzlies held on until the late stages when Kevin Massy made a great play to first clear the zone by blocking a point shot, before then picking off a pass in the Bulldogs zone before hitting the empty net while shorthanded for the 3-0 Final score with seven seconds to play.

Final shots favoured the Grizzlies 35-18, with Connor LaCouvee taking the loss while Nic Renyard picked up 3rd star honours with the win. The Grizzlies went 1 for 5 on the power play while also scoring once shorthanded while the Dogs went 0 for 2.

Back at it tomorrow for the Dogs, forget it, move on, and focus on tomorrow.


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