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Friday, October 17, 2014

Dogs top Caps 7-3 for third straight win in a wild one at the Dog Pound

It was the best start to a game for the Dogs this season, results-wise at the very least, as they scored before the game was a minute old to go up 1-0 when Troy Dobbs pinched in to keep the puck in the zone on the right side. He would feed it below the goal line for Scott Clark who put a perfect pass into the deep slot for Evan Tironese who ripped one top corner over the glove of Matthew Zentner to make it 1-0 at the 39 second mark. The Dogs had a great chance to go up 2-0 on a 2 on 1 rush where Evan Tironese sent Scott Clark in alone but Zentner came up with a big breakaway stop with his right pad. The Dogs would build the lead to 2-0 on another odd-man rush as Brett Stewart put a pass up the right wing onto the tape of Chris Schutz on the red line. He would relay a quick backhand pass ahead to Evan Tironese who walked in all alone down the right wing where he ripped a shot low, far-side past the blocker of Zentner to make it 2-0 at 10:50 immediately after the media time out. The Dogs kept the pressure up, taking a 3-0 lead when Zak Bowles set up Eric Margo in the deep slot where he threw a puck at the net that was deflected downwards and through the five-hole of Zentner by Zach Funk at 15:48. The lead wasn't three for long though, as the Capitals pushed right back and got on the board as the Dogs broke down in their zone as Kyle Horsman drove the net through the right circle where he snapped one top corner, short-side over the glove of Christopolous to make it 3-1 at 17:11 from Luke Novak and Julien LePage for a 3-1 Dogs lead after one, with the Caps leading the shots 13-12.

The Bulldogs would end up in the penalty box early - and throughout the second on four different occasions, but their penalty kill was beyond inspiring as it at times carried the play in the Capitals zone and out shot the power play. Despite carrying the bulk of the play, the Dogs couldn't build their lead as Zentner held the fort in the Capitals net. A late period flurry saw the Dogs attack and hem the Caps in their zone for what felt like three minutes, with countless near misses in scrambles around the goal. The Dogs would out shoot the Caps 24-16 for a two period total of 36-29 Bulldogs. 

The Bulldogs would blow the game open with back-to-back power play goals less than a minute apart early in the third period as Josh Adkins was cut on a high stick by Mitchell Stapley. It was 4-1 at 4:27 of the period when Darian Henry put a shot on net that was stopped by Zentner. He was unable to control the rebound though, and didn't get any help as Scott Clark scored while falling from behind the goal line. In the back-half of the double minor less than a minute later as Everett Putz went to the net after winning a draw in the zone and potted a rebound at the side of the net for his first career goal, with assists going to Josh Smith and Drew Blackmun at 5:06 of the third. On the next shift Brodie Smith would drop the gloves with Putz, and when the dust settled it was ruled that Smith was the instigator. The Capitals would quiet the crowd in short order, as they trimmed the gap to 5-2 as Jesse Neher walked into the Dogs zone during four-aside hockey and backed the defence in on Christopolous before ripping one top corner, far-side. Skylar Pacheco picked up the only assist at 6:03 of the third. The building would get loud again immediately afterwards as Eric Margo made a big hit on Sean Harrison at the Dogs blue line and raced away on a 3 on 1 rush where he drove the net and one-timed home a perfect centering pass from Zak Bowles to make it 6-2. The Capitals would pull back within three on an odd play that saw a puck contacted by a high stick but no signal made by the officials. A moment later, and it was in the back of the Dogs net with Luke Novak getting credit for the marker with Alex Bechtold getting credit for the lone assist at 12:49 to make it 6-3. The only goal the rest of the way was a bit bizarre, as the Dogs worked the puck around on a 5 on 3 with Darian Henry blowing a one-timer past Zentner from the left cirle on a beautiful cross-ice pass by Evan Tironese. The Referee would initially signal goal then emphatically wave it off and say no goal. After a conference between the officials the goal would stand. My best guess is that a goal was intially allowed before incidental contact made it waved off, which was then in turn also overturned when it was instead off setting minor penalties. Scott Clark would pick up an assist, and a penalty - at the 17:07 mark for the 7-3 lead and the eventual final score.

Shots favoured the Dogs 59-37 with Billy Christopolous picking up the win in net while Matthew Zentner took the loss. The Dogs went unofficially 3 for 9 on the power play while the Capitals went 0 for 6.

Lots of season highs in this one - most goals for, fastest goal to start a game, most power play goals for, most shots on net and largest margin of victory. In the end it was certainly a lot of fun to watch and no doubt a bunch of fun to play in if you are on the Dogs side of the puck. In the end, it means absolutely nothing come puck drop tomorrow and you can bet that the Caps will not have a spirited ride home and they will come out ready for payback when the teams meet tomorrow night at the Big Stick. 

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