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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dogs win third straight, top Eagles 6-2.

A dreadful start for the Bulldogs, as they took a penalty on the opening shift, and gave up a goal on the power play as Billy Christopoulos made the first save on a rink-wide pass that was one-timed on goal by Cole Plotnikoff. He couldn't find the rebound though, as Ben Vikitch slid it into the open side to make it 1-0 at the 1:44 mark of the first, with Latrell Charleson also drawing an assist on the play. The Eagles would have several good chances to build on their lead, but Christopoulos made a couple of good stops on the goal line to keep it 1-0. The Dogs would get their feet under them on the power play in the late stages of the period as Chris Schutz held the puck in at the left point and played it down the boards for Mitch Makin who set up Kurt Gosselin in the deep slot where he absolutely ripped a one-timer top corner, far side over the glove of Reid to make it 1-1 at 16:24 of the first. The Dogs kept the pressure up and almost scored on the net shift as Zak Bowles set up Justin Marreck with a cross-ice pass on a 2 on 1 rush, but Eagles AP goalie Tyler Read made a fantastic save to keep it tied. The Dogs continued to push and show some urgency, and it paid off as Kurt Gosselin set up Brett Stewart at the top of the crease where he put a quick shot on goal that was deflected in by Garrett Halls at the top of the crease to make it 2-1 Dogs at 18:18 of the first. The Dogs led the shots 19-12 after 20 minutes.

The second period saw the Bulldogs come out with the better of the play early, but they couldn't capitalize on their chances. The Eagles would push back and have several great chances, and Billy Christopoulos was rock solid going post to post to rob Darius Davidson to keep it 2-1. Mitch Makin would be denied on a breakaway immediately at the other end of the ice. Drew Weich would also make a fantastic save on an open net as he blocked a shot to keep it 2-1 Dogs shortly afterwards. The Eagles would take an undisciplined penalty after the whistle, and the Dogs made them pay as Brett Stewart made a nice move to make the first defender miss. He would then fan on a shot attempt, before putting an off-speed shot on goal that was tipped in through the five-hole of Read by Drew Blackmun. Stewart and Gosselin would draw the assists at 11:29 of the second. Less than two minutes later it was 4-1 as Kurt Gosselin found Drew Weich at the right point where he put a shot on net that was stopped by Read, but he again couldn't control the rebound as Dylan Haugen fired it home from the crease at the 13:25 mark. The Dogs added one more before the period was out as Mitch Makin banged a rebound home - seconds after appearing to score a beautiful top corner goal that was waved off by the Referee, as he went to the net and jammed home a loose puck off a Kurt Gosselin shot. Chris Schutz also picked up an assist at 18:25 of the second for a 5-1 Dogs lead after two periods, with the Dogs out-shooting the Eagles 20-17 in the period for a 39-29 advantage after 40 minutes.

The Dogs built the lead to 6-1 in the third period on an absolutely gorgeous goal by Scottie Clark who took a head man pass and made a nifty move to make a defender miss before then cutting across the crease and out-waiting the goaltender before lifting a backhand home at the 5:18 mark of the third to make it 6-1. The game turned silly near the back-half of the third period with the Eagles first seeing the book thrown at them on back-to-back slashing calls that I didn't think were much of anything. More penalties to the Eagles saw the Bulldogs go to back-to-back 5 on 3's. The Dogs didn't look especially good on them, as they failed to click to generate much in the way of chances. The Eagles would then get a series of 5 on 3's after Scott Clark, Marcus Russell, and finally Eric Margo - who threw a clean check, got jumped and somehow drew four minutes. The Eagles wouldn't score on the back-to-back two man advantages, but they did connect on the final penalty to make it a 6-2 game when a blocked shot ended up on the stick of Cole Plotikoff who one-timed it home before Christopoulos could get over. Brian Drapluk drew the only assist on the play.

Final shots favoured the Dogs 47-36 with Billy Christopoulos picking up 2nd star honours with the win while Tyler Read took the loss. Unofficial special teams numbers, as it got a little silly there for a while - I had the Dogs went 3 for 7 on the power play while the Eagles went 2 for 9.

With the win the Dogs have won three in a row. They finish their trip tomorrow afternoon in Coquitlam for a 2pm start against the Express.

Here's some addition pictures from tonight, courtesy Damon James.

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