Friday, October 10, 2014
Dogs top Express 3-2
There was great end-to-end play to start the game, with no whistles over the first two minutes. The Bulldogs would take a penalty shortly afterwards, and while the Express didn't score they certainly looked like they are deserving of their #2 ranking on the power play as they worked the puck around nicely and generated a series of good looks but Billy Christopolous was sharp early. The Bulldogs would get a chance on the man-advantage just short of the midway mark of the frame and they would connect on it in the dying seconds of the advantage when a Evan Tironese shot was blocked and ended up back on the tape of Brett Stewart at the top of the point. He would throw one on net through traffic that deflected off Josh Adkins at the top of the crease and past Braden Krogfoss to make it 1-0 at the 10:43 mark. That would be the only scoring of the first, with the Express leading the shots 15-11.
The Bulldogs began the second period with a purpose, as they drew an early penalty after forcing the Express into a series of icings. They wouldn't find the net on the advantage, but they did a good job of getting pucks in on Krogfoss and appeared to gain some momentum. The Express would take another penalty immediately after the first one expired due to getting caught on a line change, but on this opportunity the Dogs sputtered and didn't manage much of an attack. The score stayed 1-0 until just short of the midway mark of the period when the Dogs went up 2-0 at the end of a good shift in the attacking zone as Chris Schutz found a loose puck in the left corner and walked up the wall and into the circle before spinning and firing and simply putting a puck on net that surprised Krogfoss and beat him high short-side. Evan Tironese picked up the only assist at 9:56 of the second. The Express would push right back and had a great opportunity to get on the board on a Nic Rasovic breakaway on the next shift, but Christopolous came up with a big save to keep it out. They would continue to push the pace thought, and got on the board three minutes after the Dogs had doubled their lead at the end of a shift in the attacking zone as Cameron Bertsch passed back to the point for Daniel Fritz who put a shot on goal what was deflected home by Brendan Lamont to make it 2-1 at 12:50 of the second. The Express would have a handful of chances to build the lead as the period wore on, but Christopolous was solid on several goal mouth scrambles to protect the lead and keep it 2-1 Dogs after two, with the Dogs out-shooting the Express 17-10 for a two period advantage of 28-25.
The third period saw the Bulldogs immediately build on their lead on a great solo effort by Dylan Haugen as he picked off a pass at centre ice and walked over the Express line up the left wing on an odd-man rush where he kept the puck and fired it past the glove of Krogfoss to make it 3-1, un-assisted 1:43 into the third to give the Dogs a two goal cushion. The Dogs did a great job to control the game and not give up much in the way of chances around the net or on the rush as they salted the time away, but the Express didn't go quietly. Down a goal with less than five minutes to play they kept pushing and made it a one-goal game with just over a minute to play as Christopolous made a desperation save on the door step but couldn't recover or get any help as Brett Supinski retreived the rebound and scored on a banker from behind the net to make it 3-2 with 1:24 to play, with Daniel Fritz also picking up an assist on the play. The Express would get the goalie out for the extra attacker in the final minute but the Dogs held the fort to make the lead stand.
Shots favoured the Express 41-35 with Billy Christopolous picking up the win and first star honours while Braden Krogfoss took the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 4 on the power play while the Express went 0 for 3.
The Dogs host the Trail Smoke Eaters to conclude their weekend tomorrow.