The game started about 8 minutes earlier than scheduled following the Remembrance Day ceremonies, with the Kings controlling the first few shifts in the Dogs zone. The Dogs pushed back and got their legs going in a hurry, taking a 1-0 lead just 4:24 in as Josh Adkins fed the puck back to the left point for Kurt Gosselin who just made the simple play of getting the puck on net in a hurry. It eluded a screened Brett Magnus and slid just under his right pad. Everett Putz also drew an assist on the play at 4:24 of the first. The Kings would control the better of the play over the middle parts of the period, but Billy Christopolous was solid and his teammates did a good job around him of clearing pucks and blocking shots to keep it 1-0. The Dogs would take a 2-0 lead late in the period when Brett Stewart moved the puck up the middle to Evan Tironese who carried over the Kings line and fought off a defender to put a low, hard shot on net that was padded away by Brett Magnus. He couldn't control the rebound though, as Dylan Haugen beat a Kings defender to the net and one-timed it top corner under the crossbar to make it 2-0 at 17:39 of the first. Shortly afterwards the Bulldogs would end down a man on an interesting call, as Kurt Keats hit Kurt Gosselin low and knee-on-knee behind the Dogs net after Gosselin had passed the puck. Garrett Halls would give Keats a bump on the shoulder in defence of his teammate, and Keats responded with a punch to the face of Halls. Only Halls would go to the box. The Kings would score with 4 seconds left in the period on a pretty set up off a faceoff win as Jarid Lukosevicius one-timed a cross-ice pass from Jacob Pritchard past Christoplous. Keats would be announced as the goal scorer in the building, but it was clearly Lukosevicius, with the assists going to Jacob Pritchard and Carmine Buono at 19:55 of the first. Just a second after the puck went in, Keats would get his arm up into the face of Christopolous and bump him on his way to the celebration, leading to a huge dust up as the Bulldogs understandably responded. The Kings led the shots 14-9 after 20 minutes.
The Dogs began the second on the power play, but played pretty much the rest of it shorthanded, as the Kings scored back-to-back five on three goals as the Dogs had the book thrown at them repeatedly by the Referee. The first 5 on 3 came I believe Mitch Makin finishing a check on Kurt Keats, no doubt for his contact with Christopolous. The Kings would connect on the 5 on 3 as - you guessed it, Kurt Keats, found a loose puck in the slot after a Garrett Halls shot block that he fired top corner, short-side past Christopolous. Assists on the play went to Jacob Pritchard and Stephen Hiff at the 6:47 mark of the second. The Bulldogs were immediately penalized off the centre ice draw, resulting in another two-man advantage and just under two minutes later, the Kings connected on a pretty cross-ice set up for Jarid Lukosevicius as he put a one-timer past Christopolous who made a great read to get over but just couldn't get a piece of it. Kurt Keats and Stephen Hiff drew the assists at 8:45 of the second to make it 3-2. The Bulldogs would be again on the short end of the stick on another ugly dust-up later in the period. Scott Clark would be hit awkwardly from behind into the side boards. The puck came back to the wall where a battle for possession ensued. Clark would take two cross-checks in the back in front of the Official, but failed to draw a penalty. He would turn around and cross-check a King in the helmet, for which he was given a five-minute major. Drake Brown would also be thrown out for fighting in the long and ugly skirmish that continued, although he didn't appear to drop his gloves or engage in a fight, although he did throw a King hard down to the ice. A good indication in regards to how the calls went throughout the game might be that Bulldog Head Coach Kevin Willison was kicked out of the game by the Referee for his first career ejection since joining the Bulldogs. That's 229 games by my count. The Bulldogs would kill off the 5 on 3, and the remainder of the Major Penalty, and showed great passion in doing so to end the period, as the whistle seemed to be inexplicably swallowed at this point. Shots favoured the Kings on the period 13-7 for a two period total of 27-16.
The moment the puck dropped on the third period, it was noticeably obvious that the Bulldogs were an inspired and angry team. They carried the better of the play and had the better of the chances, and eventually drew a power play as an after-the-whistle skirmish finally saw them come out on the better end of the calls for the first time in the game. They would make the most of the advantage, tying the game at 3-3 as Brett Stewart blew a slap shot home from the top of the point past a screened Magnus to make it 3-3 at the 9:58 mark of the third, with Eric Margo picking up the only assist. The Dogs would continue to carry the play despite being without Evan Tironese and Scott Clark and Drake Brown, but despite several glorious chances they couldn't get the go-ahead goal. A late chance by Dylan Haugen was stopped by Magnus, with Haugen then appearing to take a shot to the nether regions by a King. Haugen would be visibly upset - as mad as I've seen him over his three years in the league - and he came out swinging. He would get the only penalty on the play as the game went to overtime with the Kings having a power play. The Dogs out shot the Kings 22-10 over the period, for a three period total of 38-37 Bulldogs.
The Kings would be awarded the winner on a banker from behind the net by Kurt Keats inside the first minute of overtime. It's almost fitting with how the Officiating went all game, that the end would be controversial and decided by the Referee. I couldn't see the puck over the line, but the Referee emphatically called it in and raced away from the Bulldogs players trying to chase him down. Give him credit, he was at least in a position to make the call, but it's hard to accept it being made correctly with how the rest of the game was eviscerated. Keats would get credit for it, with the lone assist going to Jarid Lukosevicius at :53 seconds ofovertime. The boxscore indicates 1:32 but that's a mistake.
Here's the play that was deemed the game winner.
Final shots favoured the Kings 39-38 with Billy Christopolous taking the loss while Brett Magnus earned the win. I had the Dogs at 1 for 4 on the power play and the Kings at 4 for 7, but those are unofficial numbers as it was pretty hard to keep track with how often the Dogs were dodging the book that was being thrown at them.
Next up for the Bulldogs is another meeting in Nanaimo against the Clippers on Friday before they return home to host Chilliwack on Saturday.