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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dogs top Kings 4-3 in comeback fashion

After player introductions with the lights dimmed the Bulldogs and Kings got things going with good pace over the opening minutes, although there wasn't much early in the way of offensive chances. That would change in a hurry as the Kings made it 1-0 just over four minutes into the game as Jarryd Leung intercepted a play up the boards up the left wing in the Dogs zone and walked to the net un-touched where he wristed one off the glove of Christopolous and over the line. The goal was un-assisted, at 4:14 into the first period. The Bulldogs would get a power play chance three minutes later and although they had several good looks, they appeared to be guilty of looking for the pretty play too much and not just getting pucks on net. The Kings would go to three straight power plays through the period, and the Bulldogs did a very good job of killing the first two opportunities off, and the bulk of the third one, but the Kings would connect on the advantage with less than 20 seconds remaining in it to make it 2-0 as a Carmine Buono shot from the point off a faceoff win was deflected past Christopolous by Alex Jackstadt. Curtis McCarrick also drew an assist on the play at the 16:31 mark of the first. The Bulldogs would be awarded a power play of their own with less than two minutes to go in the frame and showed good urgency and generated several good chances but they couldn't beat Brett Magnus or get a bounce around the net as the first ended with the Kings up 2-0, and leading in the shots as well 13-9.

The Bulldogs came out with an increased urgency in the second period, but despite a better period and several great offensive chances they were unable to hit the net through the first half of the period, coming painfully close on two occasions where the puck either hit the post or just danced across the goal line during an extended scramble. Their efforts would be finally rewarded with just over three minutes to go in the period at the end of a long shift in the offensive zone as Drew Blackmun walked out from the right side and looked to the point before snapping one quickly through the legs of Brett Magnus. Assists on the play went to Mitch Makin and Garrett Halls at 16:54 of the second. As it always seems to happen at the Dog Pound, a goal goes to the Dogs legs and wakes up the crowd. The Dogs would go to a power play shortly afterwards where they tied the game as Evan Tironese took a pass at the right point, and put an arm up seeming to indicate that there was no traffic in front of the net. A split second later he would blow a slap shot top corner over the glove of Magnus. Kurt Gosselin would pick up the only assist on the play at 18:27 of the second, for a 2-2 tie after two periods. The Dogs out shot the Kings in the second 19-8 for a two period total of 28-21.

The third period saw the Dogs continue to control the majority of the play, but it wasn't until just past the midway mark of the period that they scored to get their  first lead of the game - and of the season, just past the midway mark as Kurt Gosselin threw a puck on net that was stopped by Magnus. The rebound came out to both Eric Margo - who earlier in the shift had a big hit to keep the attack going -  and Zak Bowles, who were both stopped. Darian Henry followed the play and fired it home past a down and out Magnus to make it 3-2 at 10:09 of the third. Margo and Gosselin would pick up the assists. The Dogs didn't hold the lead for long, as the Kings connected on the power play just minutes later. After a great save on a wide open change in the slot by Christopolous, the Kings would score on the next shift on a perfect cross-ice set up that was roofed by Jacob Pritchard top corner from the right circle on a Jarryd Leung feed. Stephen Hiff also drew an assist at 12:51 to make it 3-3 on the power play. The Bulldogs would react well to seeing their lead evaporate, as they pushed back on the very next shift. The score would stay that way until the late stages as the game tightened up. With overtime looming, the Dogs would take the lead back when Chris Schutz accepted a Scott Clark  pass just off the top of the crease and scored on a spin-around no look backhand off the post and in to make it 4-3 with 1:36 left on the clock, with Evan Tironese also drawing an assist. The Kings would get their goalie out for the extra attacker with a minute to go to look for the equalizer but the Bulldogs did a solid job of shutting them down and winning the battles to not give up any big chances. One more draw with 20 seconds to play saw the Dogs kill the clock when Everett Putz dove to chop the puck out of the zone to kill the rest of the time on the clock.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 41-29 with Billy Christopolous and Brett Magnus being the goalies of record. The Dogs went 1 for 6 on the power play while the Kings went 2 for 6.

The Dogs are next in action Friday night in Victoria. 

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