Sunday, November 23, 2014
Dogs top Express 4-1, win fourth straight, go perfect three-for-three on road
A fantastic start to the game for the Bulldogs as they looked ready to play early and pushed the pace hard from the opening face off. Despite another penalty in the opening minute like the night before in Surrey, the Dogs killed it off and controlled the bulk of the play through the first 10 minutes getting a bunch of pucks on net and opening up a 13-6 lead in shots through the media time out just past the midway point. The game remained scoreless until the late stages of the first period when the Dogs were penalized again. Instead of the Express scoring, it was the Bulldogs going up 1-0 as Kurt Gosselin made a fantastic read in the defensive zone to pressure the Express player with the puck and steal it, before sending Dylan Haugen in alone on the breakaway where he went top corner, glove side on Tai to make it 1-0 Bulldogs at the 17:26 mark of the first. The Bulldogs were again penalized with less than a minute to go in the period when Garrett Halls drove the net attempting to pick up a centering pass and doing everything to not contact the goaltender Chris Tai. He would penalized none the less for unsportsmanlike conduct for snowing the goalie. The Bulldogs would have another great chance while shorthanded as Kurt Gosselin created a 2 on 1 and was stopped by Tai. The Dogs took a 1-0 lead to the room after one while holding a 16-9 lead in shots.
The Bulldogs built their lead to 2-0 early in the second period on a goal that the Express protested as Josh Adkins drove the net and continued to jam at a loose puck in the feet of Tai off a Dylan Haugen wrap around and jam in attempt. Adkins would fight it over the line as the Referee never seemed to lose sight of the puck. No assist was given on the play by Dylan Haugen clearly deserved one, as Everett Putz also might have had a stick on it during the scramble as it was 2-0 Dogs at 2:21 of the second. The Express would get it right back just two minutes later on what looked like a harmless play as Nicholas Coltura put the puck high off the glass to alleviate the pressure the Dogs had on the Express in their zone. It turned dangerous in a hurry as Corey Mackin was hanging around at centre ice where he found the puck and raced in on a breakaway down the right wing where he cut across the crease and suck it through the legs of Christopoulos to make it 2-1 at the 4:32 mark of the second. The Dogs would push right back and continued to carry the play throughout the period and were eventually rewarded for it on the power play when Kurt Gosselin made a great play to keep the puck in on the right wing boards and feed it back to the top of the point for Brett Stewart. He would make a quick cross-ice pass onto the tape of Chris Schutz on the top of the left circle where he blasted a one-timer past Tai to make it 3-1 at the 15:56 mark of the second. The Dogs would end up in penalty trouble late in the period when they were put down two men for an extended period, but they killed the clock to head to the room up 3-1 after two while the Dogs out shot the Express 14-5 over the period for a 40 minute advantage of 30-14.
The Express would start the third period on the 5 on 3, but again the Bulldogs killed it off beautifully and didn't allow much. The Dogs did a great job to continue to salt the the time away, but the Express got another power play near the midway point to try to make a game of it. They would generate one good chance, but Billy Christopoulos made a fantastic kick save and a rebound save of Brett Supinski with his defence then doing a great job to clear the rebound. The Bulldogs continued to play a perfect game throughout the remainder of regulation, getting pucks out of their zone and into the Express zone to kill the clock and not give the Express any chance to gain any momentum or generate much in the way of chances. The Dogs would seal the deal with just under four seconds left as Zak Bowles retrieved the puck behind the goal and centered it to Justin Marreck who scored his first career goal with Drew Blackmun also assisting it at 19:56 for the 4-1 Final.
Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 38-25 with Billy Christopoulos picking up 3rd star honours with the win while Chris Tai took 2nd star honours with the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 2 on the power play, while the Express went 0 for 6, a huge difference in the game.
With the win, the Dogs have won four in a row for the second time this season, while also winning all three on a road trip for the first time this season. The Bulldogs host the Clippers at the Dog Pound Wednesday and Saturday next week.