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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dogs top Chiefs 4-2 for second straight win

A fantastic start for the Bulldogs on the road as they raced out to an early 10-2 lead in shots just six minutes into the game. Despite peppering Aidan Pelino, they couldn't find the net. The Chiefs would all of a sudden get two great chances on partial breakaways by Tanner Campbell and Jordan Kawaguchi that saw Billy Christopolous come up big. The Chiefs would get the games first power play on a bench minor penalty against the Dogs for too-many-men, but the Dogs killed it off. They would get right back on the offense and continued to throw pucks at the goal, finally finding the net when Troy Dobbs kept the puck in at the right point by knocking the puck down out of mid-air. He would then find Evan Tironese in the right circle, where he made a beautiful pass cross-ice through his own legs and onto the tape of Chris Schutz in the left circle where he made no mistake and wasted no time, blasting a one-timer top corner, far-side over the glove of Pelino to make it 1-0 at the 14:10 mark of the first. The Dogs had several glorious chances in tight to build the lead, but Kurt Gosselin, Zak Bowles and Drew Blackmun were all stopped in tight by Pelino as the Dogs out shot the Chiefs 21-12 over the first 20 minutes.

The Bulldogs had a fantastic chance to open the second as Brett Stewart set up Mitch Makin on the rush in the deep slot, but Pelino made a ridiculous glove save. The Dogs kept pushing, and went up 2-0 on an Everett Putz faceoff win in the zone that was found by Josh Adkins who ripped one home low far-side past the glove of Pelino at 3:54. Just 10 seconds later it was 3-0 as the Dogs attacked off the centre ice faceoff win again by Putz as Josh Adkins sent Dylan Haugen up the right wing where he let a wrister go on the fly that again beat Pelino, far-side past the blocker to make it 3-0 at 4:04. It didn't stay that way for very long though, as the Chiefs woke up and/or the Dogs fell asleep as just 36 seconds later it was a 3-1 game when Evan MacEachern put a wrister on goal from the right half-wall that had eyes as Christopolous never saw it and it went high over his shoulder. Jake Larson picked up the only assist on the play at 4:40 of the second. Just 27 seconds later the Chiefs made it 3-2, turning a faceoff just outside their blue line into a 2 on 0 breakaway that was finished off by Jake Hand as he banked it off Christopolous and in, with assists going to Tipper Higgins and Vincent Desharnais at 5:07. The game would settle down for a spell, with neither team hitting the net throughout the remainder of the period. A couple of VERY INTERESTING calls went against the Dogs in the period. First it was Evan Tironese, getting tied it up front by a Chief defender as he had a partially open net. A delayed penalty went to the Chiefs, but Tironese was also given a penalty for roughing, as he was fighting to get free of the obstruction. As bad as that one was, later in the period saw an even weirder one as Eric Margo was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct for throwing a Chiefs stick - a stick that he had to remove from his armpit after he was hooked by a Chief. Granted, he threw the stick, but I guess it's expected that you are supposed to gentlemanly remove the stick and hand it back to the player that lost it in your paraphanalia? At the very least, make it an even up call and put two and two together and realize why he stick was there. At any length, the Dogs would kill it, and kill off another penalty immediately afterwards thanks to an amazing save by Christopolous on a wide-open Craig Puffer in front to keep it 3-2 Dogs after two, with the Chiefs outshooting the Dogs 10-9 on the period for a Bulldog lead of 30-22 after 40 minutes.

The third period was great back-and-forth end to end hockey, with the score remaining 3-2 until past the midway mark of the frame when Troy Dobbs put an oulet pass up the right wing for Scott Clark. He would sent Kurt Gosselin up the right wing where he drove wide with fantastic speed before cutting across the crease and driving the net where he snuck it under the toe of Pelino to make it 4-2 with 11:02 gone in the third period from Dobbs and Clark. The Dogs would do a good job to kill the remainder of the clock, not giving up much in the way of chances. After back-to-back-to-back icings with less than a minute to go the Chiefs would generate a great chance on a cross-crease set up for Craig Puffer, who was absolutely robbed by Christopolous not once, but twice on the doorstep to protect the two goal lead. The Dogs would FINALLY get their first power play chance of the game, with just 20 seconds to go in it. While they wouldn't score, they did generate three good chances as time expired. You can't blame the Bulldogs for having their season-opening power play goals in a game streak snapped at 12 as they didn't earn any chances tonight, and it wasn't for a lack of effort.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 43-31, with Billy Christopolous picking up third star honours with the win while Aidan Pelino took the loss. The Dogs went 0 for 1 (on 20 seconds) on the power play while the Chiefs went 0 for 3.

With the win, the Dogs have lost two in a row while also snapping the Chiefs winning streak at four, and their season-opening Home Ice unbeaten streak at six. The Dogs are next in action tomorrow afternoon in Langley, a 2pm start.

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