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Sunday, November 02, 2014

Dogs top Capitals 6-1

For an afternoon start, this one had great end-to-end hockey from the get go with both teams pushing the pace. The Bulldogs opened the scoring just over four minutes in when Mitch Makin chased down a Garrett Halls dump in and threw a cross-crease pass that went off Eric Margo and on goal, only to be stopped by Matthew Zentner. He couldn't control the rebound though, as Drew Blackmun found it out front and roofed it under the crossbar to make it 1-0 at the 4:05 mark of the first, with the only assist on the play going to Eric Margo. The Capitals would answer back in short order to tie it back up as a turnover  behind the goal was found by Jacob Switzer at the top of the right circle where he blew a slap shot on goal that was tipped by Brayden Gelsinger through the legs of Christopolous and JUST over the goal line to make it 1-1 at the 5:27 mark. The score remained tied 1-1 after 20 minutes, with the Capitals leading the shots 11-9. It certainly didn't feel like the Dogs were out shot in the period, but perhaps their advantage in territorial play didn't translate to enough pucks on net. The Capitals certainly had their chances, mostly on transition on the rush.

The second period saw the Bulldogs come out and control the bulk of the play from the opening draw, running up a large advantage in shots, but failing to capitalize as the score stayed 1-1. The Capitals would have a great chance to take the lead in transition as Kyle Horsman walked in on a breakaway down the right wing, but Billy Christopolous made a great save with a poke-check to keep it 1-1. The game would take a big turn in the late stages of the second when Zak Bowles finished his check in the Capitals zone, only to be jumped from behind by Rylan Bechtel from behind who had his gloves off and sucker punches Bowles several times without giving him any chance to defend himself. With Bowles bleeding profusely on the ice, the Bulldogs would be given a seven minute power play and would make the Capitals pay for the lack of discipline, blowing the game open with three goals on the long power play. They scored immediately off the first draw, with Mitch Makin winning it back to Chris Schutz, who dished off to Kurt Gosselin. He would walk to the top of the line and blow a slap shot past a screened Zentner to make it 2-1 at 11:09 of the period. The next couple of minutes saw the power play sputter, but the Dogs would reset and go back to work, making it 3-1 on Justin Marreck's first as a Dog as Mitch Makin threw a puck on net from the left circle that went off Marreck and in. Eric Margo also picked up an assist at 14:58 of the second. Two and a half minutes later it was 4-1 as Evan Tironese put a puck on goal that hit traffic before ending up on the tape of Scott Clark who fought a backhand over the line and past the arm of Zentner, who just missed making a desperation save. Evan Tironese and Kurt Gosselin drew the assists at 17:30 of the second as the Dogs carried the 4-1 lead to the room after two periods with a shot advantage of 19-11 in the period for a 28-22 lead after two.

The Bulldogs would again come flying out of the gate to start the third period, building their lead to 5-1 as Evan Tironese raced up the right wing on a partial breakaway before delaying and putting a perfect pass onto the tape of Scott Clark who danced in on the breakaway where he deked out Zentner and slid a backhand home just 54 seconds into the period. The Capitals would have a great chance to build the lead on a breakaway by Ben Brar who was stopped not once, but twice by Billy Christopolous to protect the lead. The Dogs would go to a four-minute power play late in the third period, as Brett Stewart was clipped by Kyle Horsman. It was a pretty tough afternoon for Stewart who was also cut by a high stick from Brayden Gelsinger in the second period that went undetected by the four Officials. The Dogs would score one second after the first-half of the minor elapsed on a wild scramble at the side of the net as Chris Schutz poked a rebound home off a Troy Dobbs point shot to make it 6-1 with 3:02 to play, an assists going to Josh Adkins and Mitch Makin.

Final shots favoured the Dogs 38-32 with Billy Christopolous earning second star honours with the win while Matthew Zentner took the loss. Unofficially I had the Dogs at 4 for 6 on the power play while the Capitals were 0 for 4.

The Dogs are next in action Friday night in Nanaimo when they meet the Clippers for the first time this season.



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