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Saturday, December 06, 2014

Rivermen top Dogs 6-3

A great start to the game as the Dogs came out off the opening puck drop and threw a bunch of pucks on net early on Darren Martin. They resulted in fat rebounds, but the Dogs couldn't corral them on several near misses around the net. The Rivermen would get a power play on an odd penalty handed to Kurt Gosselin, and they capitalized to open the scoring on a crazy scramble that saw almost every player on the ice in the Bulldogs crease as Billy Christopoulos made several saves and battled hard to secure the puck but couldn't do so as the puck eventually came out to the hash marks to Zachary Bleuler who put a slapper off the traffic and in to make it 1-0 at the 5:26 mark on the power play from Matthew Graham and Dante Hahn. The Bulldogs would respond well to the goal and pushed right back but couldn't find the net before they caught caught snoozing in their own end as Gage Torrel walked through the right circle and un touched to the slot where he slid one low and inside the far post past Christopoulos to make it 2-0 at the 10:52 mark with Evan Anderson drawing the assist. The Dogs again didn't deflate as they came right back with a great chance on a Zak Bowles breakaway where he blew by the Rivermen Defence at centre ice but he couldn't beat Martin. The Dogs failed to capitalize on another point blank chance minutes later when Justin Marreck was set up wide open in the slot but put a shot just high over the net. The Rivermen would again strike to take a 3-0 lead with less than four to play in the period when a battle in the left corner of the Bulldogs zone saw the puck come out to Justin Szeto who walked into the left circle and blew a quick slapper through the seven hole of Christopoulos short-side to make it 3-0 from Kevan Killistoff at the 16:17 mark of the first. It certainly didn't feel like a 3-0 game, but that was the score after 20 minutes with the Rivermen up 13-12 in the shots.

The Bulldogs would come out with some fire to start the second, and got on the board early as Port Aberni Native and Affiliate Player Chase Gaudreault scored his first career goal on a quick wrister from the slot off an Eric Margo pass to make it 3-1 at the 3:00 mark of the period. The Rivermen would come right back with a great shift to try and restore the three goal lead, but Billy Christopoulos made two great saves to keep it 3-1. The Dogs would push hard throughout the next five or six minutes to try and chip away at the deficit but they couldn't find the net through the Media Time out as it remained 3-1 Langley. The Rivermen would control the play over the next three or four minutes, as the Bulldogs had troubles getting the puck out of their end. When they finally did, they failed to get a dump in deep into the zone and it resulted in a 2 on 1 rush that turned into a breakaway as Evan Anderson walked in on net and banked it off the blocker of Christopoulos and in to make it 4-1 at the 16:39 mark of the period with Gage Torrel assisting. The Dogs would earn their first power play chance of the game late in the frame but they couldn't capitalize on it as the period ended with the Rivermen up 4-1, and up in the shots 25-19 after out shooting the Dogs 12-7 over the period.

 The Dogs came out flying to start the third, making it a 4-2 game just over two minutes in when Zak Bowles raced up the right wing on a 2 on 1 rush where he kept the puck and scored with a perfect short-side high wrist shot past the blocker of Darren Martin. Troy Dobbs picked up the only assist at the 2:23 mark of the third. It was a whole new game just 30 seconds later when Scotty Clark blocked a shot at the Dogs line and raced in on a breakaway where he went backhand-forehand and roofed one to make it 4-3, un assisted at the 2:53 mark as the Rivermen called time out to slow things down and right the ship. It was a whole new game again just 24 seconds later as Kevan Killistoff hustled into the Dogs zone and won a battle for the puck in the right corner and threw a cross-slot pass onto the tape of Justin Szeto who one-timed it home before Christopoulos could get over to make it 5-3 at the 3:17 mark as the building fell silent. The Bulldogs would continue to battle to make a game of it again, and had a glorious chance with 11:01 left when they were awarded a penalty shot after Gage Torrel appeared to save a goal by putting his hand on the puck in the crease. Zak Bowles would take the penalty shot, but Darren Martin out-waited him and came up with the huge stop to preserve the two goal lead. That would be as close as the Dogs would get though as they called time out and gambled with the goalie out with 3:30 left and a faceoff in the Langley end. They would win back to back draws, but couldn't beat Martin before getting a shot blocked that resulted in an open-netter from centre ice for Colton Kehler with assists going to Kevan Killistoff and Zachary Bleuler at 16:47 of the third period for the 6-3 final score.

Shots favoured the Rivermen 38-35 with Billy Christopoulos taking the loss while Darren Martin picked up the win. The Dogs went 0 for 1 on the power play while the Rivermen went 1 for 1.

The Dogs are next in action Friday in Nanaimo.


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