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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dogs unbeaten in three after 2-2 tie in Langley

It was a spirited start to this one with not much in the way of whistles over the first three minutes as everyone got into the game. The Rivermen would get the games first power play near the midway point of the first, but the Bulldogs penalty kill was solid to not give up any chances. The Dogs would earn a power play chance of their own shortly afterwards, a welcomed opportunity after the Dogs couldn't earn a chance the night before in Chilliwack, but they would take themselves off the opportunity after a misplay at the line saw the partial breakaway by the Rivermen. With the teams playing four-on-four, Evan Tironese failed to draw a penalty when he went forward on a faceoff and was dumped trying to chase the loose puck down on what would have been a possible breakaway. Seconds later, Josh Adkins went to the box, resulting in a long 5 on 3 for the Rivermen. Again the Bulldogs penalty kill was pretty to watch, as they won battles and cleared pucks to keep it scoreless after 20 minutes, with the Dogs leading the shots 7-6.

The Bulldogs would carry the better of the play to start the second, and earned several power play chances. They would appear to take a 1-0 lead just past the midway point of the game on the power play as Brett Stewart put a shot on net that was stopped by Darren Martin, but the rebound fell out of his body beside him on the goal line. Josh Adkins would jam the puck home and the Bulldogs celebrated, and the Referee standing directly behind the net made no signal to either count the goal, or wave off the goal, and instead just stood there. A four-official conference afterwards would wave the goal off, the reason given being incidental contact with the goalie. The Bulldogs would continue to push, and would take a 1-0 lead while shorthanded as Brett Stewart stepped up at centre ice and intercepted a pass before skating over the Rivermen line up the right wing and blowing a slap shot from the top of the right circle top corner, far-side over the glove of Martin for the unassisted mark at the 11:57 mark of the period. The Rivermen would have several good chances to tie the game as the period wore on in tight but Nathan Warren was solid to keep it 1-0 Dogs after 40 minutes, with the Dogs outshooting the Rivermen 14-7 on the period for a two period advantage of 21-13. 

The Dogs took an early penalty in the third period, and it would immediately change the game as the Rivermen made it a 1-1 game on a broken play off a centering pass that ended up on the tape of Jordan Schneider in the slot where he one-timed it low past the blocker side of Nathan Warren to make it 1-1 at 7:45 of the third with assists going to Erik Udhal and Jacob Kearley. Just 10 seconds later it was 2-1 Rivermen as they attacked the zone off the centre ice faceoff and Dante Hahn found the puck in the right circle and ripped a wrist shot through a maze of bodies low past the blocker side of Warren again at 7:55, again from Udhal and Kearley as all of a sudden the Bulldogs were trailing the game. They Dogs didn't deflate though, as they battled back to tie the game three minutes later after great work in the attacking zone to hem the Rivermen in saw Drew Blackmun walk to the goal and fake out Martin before pulling the puck behind the net and wrapping it around out front where it went to the slot to Jeff Rose who one-timed home his first career goal to make it 2-2 at 10:49 with Mitch Makin also drawing an assist on the play. The Dogs did a good job over the remainder of regulation to not give up much to the Rivermen, while they were also visibly tired at the end of another long weekend. However, they would allow a breakaway with less than a minute left that saw Hunter Anderson skate in alone on Nathan Warren who out-waited him and came up with a game saver with his right pad to preserve the tie and earn the Dogs a point. Third period shots favoured the Rivermen 10-6 for a Bulldog advantage after 60 minutes of 27-23. Both teams would have their chances in OT, but both Nathan Warren and Darren Martin were unbeatable as the game ended in a rare tie.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 33-28, with Nathan Warren picking up first star honours while Darren Martin earned second star honours in the Rivermen net. The Dogs went 0 for 5 on the power play while also scoring once shorthanded, while Langley went 1 for 5.

A great weekend for the Dogs, just a play or two away from perfect as they return home with five out of six points, now unbeaten in three games. They next see action Saturday at home against Victoria.


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