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Sunday, January 04, 2015

Caps snap Dogs win streak at three with 5-4 win

A fantastic start for the Bulldogs as they dominated off the hop, winning the races and the battles and earning a 6-0 lead in shots and then drawing back-to-back penalties to go on a long 5 on 3 power play. It wouldn't take long for the Dogs to connect though, as just 27 seconds into it they capitalized to go up 1-0 when Kurt Gosselin carried the puck behind the Caps net and threw it out to the hash marks for Brett Stewart who snapped one inside the far post low past Matthew Zetner at 4:51 of the first. The Bulldogs would carry the play and have a large amount of chances in running up an 11-1 lead in shots, but they couldn't build on the lead. The Capitals would all of a sudden score again the flow of play on the rush to make it a 1-1 game as Brodie Smith took a pass in the slot as the trailer and ripped a perfect shot top corner, short-side cross bar and down on Christopoulos. Darien Craighead and Julien LePage picked up the helpers at 12:51 of the first. The Bulldogs wouldn't deflate, and continued to carry the play and generate chances, but they couldn't beat Zetner or draw a penalty. The Capitals would get a power play late in the period, and they would connect on it to all of a sudden lead the game on a pretty passing play finished off with a cross-ice pass fired into the open side by Kade Kehoe, with assists going to Rylan Bechtel and Ryan Burton to make it 2-1 Capitals at the 18:04 mark of the first. Just seemed to be served somewhat late in the period, as the Dogs won a face off in the Capitals end with 7.8 seconds left as Josh Adkins pushed it to the right wing boards for Kurt Gosselin, who put a no-look backhand on net that somehow eluded Zetner to make it a 2-2 game at 19:58 of the first with Josh Adkins and Everett Putz drawing the assists as the Dogs out shot the Capitals 20-5 through the first period.

The second period began with a bang, as just over a minute into it it was a 3-2 Dogs lead as Mitch Makin raced up the left wing on a Dylan Haugen pass and snapped it top corner over Zetner. Chris Schutz chipped the puck out of the zone for Haugen, but Kurt Gosselin was given the second assist at the 1:18 mark of the second. The Dogs would go to a power play just a couple minutes later, but would then take a penalty to see play go back to four-on-four. The Capitals would take a penalty immediately afterwards, as the Dogs went to a 4 on 3 advantage that they made quick work on as Brett Stewart pounded a shot on net from the top of the point that was stopped by Zetner. Eric Therrien would be stopped on the first rebound attempt, but Marcus Russell would bury the second attempt over Zetner for a 4-2 Dogs lead at 5:32 of the second. It looked like the Dogs might be on their way to taking over, but the Caps would answer back less than a minute later on four-aside hockey on the rush as Darien Craighead drove the net and finished off a cross-crease pass into the open side with Christopoulos sliding the wrong way. Skylar Pacheco and Rylan Bechtel picked up the helpers at the 6:19 mark of the second. They would find the net again just two and a half minutes later on the power play when Pacheco put a shot on net from the deep slot that had eyes, finding the net past the blocker of Christopoulos at 8:51 of the second from Bechtel and Osczevski as it was 4-4. Neither team would find the net the rest of the way, with the shots favouring the Capitals over the period 17-12 for a two-period advantage for the Bulldogs of 32-22.

The third period was played tight to the vest, and end-to-end with all of a sudden a dearth of any penalty calls as the period made it to the midway mark. The Dogs had the best early chance to take the lead back as inside of the first minute of the period Mitch Makin walked in on a 2 on 1 rush and kept the puck, ripping one high short-side off the cross-bar and out of play. The Capitals would take a 5-4 lead with just over six minutes go to, again on the rush as the Dogs would win a battle in the Caps zone, but give the puck away. The Dogs defence would get caught up ice, and a perfect pass would result in a breakaway for Adam Osczevski who walked in and and snapped one past the blocker of Christopoulos to make it 5-4 at the 13:50 mark of the third, with assists going to Kade Kehoe and Ben Verrall. That would prove to be the final score, as the Dogs weren't able to generate much in the way of offence and looked out of sync trying to get going the rest of the way.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 42-33, with Matthew Zetner picking up the win while Billy Christopoulos took the loss in net. Unofficial special teams numbers - I had both teams at 2 for 6 on the power play.

The Dogs are next in action in Trail on Friday night for a 7:30 start time and the kick off to a three-in-three weekend roadie through the Interior.


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