Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Dogs dig out of two-goal hole twice, top Grizz 4-3
In what one has to think is surely a league record, the Referee blew play dead for penalties three times in the first 34 seconds of the contest. First it was Mitch Makin just 11 seconds off the opening puck drop, then Ayden MacDonald just 4 seconds into the Victoria power play. Another penalty to the Bulldogs 19 seconds later saw the scoreboard lit right up before most fans even found their way into the rink. With plenty of room on the 4 on 3 power play the Grizzlies would open the scoring, after two good first saves by Nathan Warren. Dane Gibson would find his own rebound after a kick save by Warren and jam it home from the left side of the net. Kevin Massy picked up the only assist at 1:58 of the first. After a short four-aside situation, the Grizzlies went back to the power play where they went up 2-0 on a bad luck goal that saw Thomas Gobeil put a high-hard one over the head of Warren, and off the end glass. It would bounce hard off the glass and directly back and over the top of the net and off Warren's back before trickling over the line. Assists were changed at the 60 minute mark of the game on this one, with the helpers being given to Ayden MacDonald and Meirs Moore. The Dogs would struggle to generate much in the way of a sustained attack, but they certainly had their chances to get on the board with both Braden Fuller and Everett Putz skating in on breakaways that they couldn't convert on to beat Stiliadis in the Victoria net. The whistle would go away from the Referee for a spell, but it came back at the end of the period with the Bulldogs penalized twice with the Grizzlies awarded a short 5 on 3 power play that the Dogs killed off to keep it 2-0 after one, with the Grizzlies up 10-7 in the shots.
The second period didn't see the penalties change much early, as after killing off over 1:20 of carry over penalty time from the first period, the Dogs were penalized yet again just 1:51 into the second. The Dogs would kill it off to keep the deficit at two, before earning a power play before the four minute mark. While they failed to cash in on the advantage, they moved the puck well and won a series of battles to get a couple good scoring chances. The Dogs would get on the board just past the midway mark of the period on a great retrieval of the puck from a face off in the Grizzlies end by Eric Therrien and Braden Fuller who battled hard through their checks to keep the puck deep. Fuller would get his stick on the puck below the goal line and put a perfect centering pass onto the tape of Tyler Povelofskie who one-timed it home high, far-side past the glove of Stiliadis to make it a 2-1 game at 10:56 of the second. The Dogs would have a great chance to even the game a minute later, but Chris Schutz would be stopped on a breakaway by Stiliadis, although he earned the Dogs a power play. They would have several good chances early, but then conceded a shorthanded goal for the second consecutive game when two players missed a puck on the left wing on a rim up the wall and the Grizzlies raced up ice on a 2 on 1 rush where P.J. Conlon put a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of Thomas Gobeil who one-touched it past Nathan Warren on his backhand to make it 3-1 at 14:01 of the second for a 3-1 Grizzlies lead after two periods. The Bulldogs out shooting the Grizzlies 16-6 on the period for a two period advantage of 23-16.
The Bulldogs came out of the room flying to start the third period, failing to connect on an 11 second power play to start the period, but finding the net a further 11 seconds later as Chris Schutz fought hard off the draw in the Grizzlies end to find the puck and drive the middle and get a shot on net. Stiliadis would make the save, but couldn't control the rebound as it came back to the line to Garrett Halls, who absolutely pounded one low and past Stiliadis. Chris Schutz drew the only assist on the play at the 22 second mark of the third. Exactly two minutes later it was a 3-3 tie when Braden Fuller kept the puck in the Grizzlies zone with a great effort, before finding Justin Marreck open in the slot where he beat Stiliadis with a quick release, high and far side over his blocker at 2:22 of the third. The Dogs kept up the pressure and forced the Grizzlies into an icing and they would make them pay for it as Chris Schutz fought off two separate stick checks off the draw to get a puck on goal from the right circle that was stopped by Stiliadis. Makin would have his first rebound stopped, but it went cross-ice onto the tape of Scott Clark who fired it into the open side to make it 4-3 at 11:18 of the third. That would do it for the scoring as the Dogs made the lead stand and held off the Grizzlies desperate attempts to get the equalizer with the 6 on 5 in the final minute.
Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 40-24, with Nathan Warren picking up the win while Michael Stiliadis took the loss. The Dogs went 0 for 5 on the power play, while the Grizzlies went 2 for 5 while also scoring once shorthanded.
The Dogs are next in action Friday night when they host the West Kelowna Warriors.