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Friday, January 09, 2015

Dogs drop last second heartbreaker, 5-4 in Trail

A somewhat flat start to this one from both sides, but things picked up in a hurry as the Smoke Eaters took a 1-0 lead just before the game was five minutes old as Kienan Scott accepted a Jeremy Lucchini pass at centre and walked down the right wing where he snapped one high, far-side past the blocker of Nathan Warren from the right circle to make it 1-0 4:45 in. Just three minutes later it was 2-0 Trail as Craig Martin walked into the deep slot and beat Warren with a wrist shot blocker side, with Jake Lucchini picking up the only assist at the 7:30 mark. That would do it for Nathan Warren's night, as Billy Christopoulos entered the game in relief. The Dogs kept it 2-0 with a good penalty kill at the midway mark of the period, before drawing a power play of their own. They would win the opening draw and never let the Smokies clear the zone, attacking for a full 58 seconds and getting about six good chances before finally connecting after winning a battle on the half wall. Drew Weich would feed Mitch Makin who had covered his point, where he put a perfect pass to Brett Stewart in the right circle where he snapped one home high, short-side past the blocker of Clark to make it 2-1 at the 13:11 mark of the first. The score would stay that was through 20 minutes, with the Dogs leading the shots 16-13.  

The Bulldogs came out as if shot out of a cannon to start the second, tying the game at 2-2 just 1:03 into the period as Chris Schutz threw a big hit and found a loose puck from Scott Clark before putting a perfect pass cross-ice onto the tape of Mitch Makin who snapped it into the open side. The Dogs continued to carry the play, running up a 9-0 lead in shots just four minutes into the period, but they couldn't beat Brett Clark to break the deadlock. They would keep at it as the period wore on, going up 3-2 with five minutes left when Troy Dobbs intercepted a pass at the Dogs line on the right side, and banked one hard cross-ice off the left wing boards. It would take a perfect bounce into the Trail zone where Marcus Russell chased it down with blazing speed to race in on a breakaway that he snapped it home through the legs of Clark to give the Dogs their first lead of the game at the 15:00 mark of the second. The Dogs got some insurance less than a minute later when Eric Therrien put an outlet pass onto the tape of Tyler Povelofskie up the right wing before joining the rush to make it a 3 on 2 with Justin Marreck trailing the play. Povelofskie would put a drop pass onto the tape of Marreck who walked into the slot through the right circle where he snapped one home far-side off the glove of Clark and just over the line to make it 4-2 at the 15:58 mark of the second for a 4-2 Dogs lead after two periods, with  the Dogs out shooting the Smoke Eaters 15-14 for a two period advantage of 31-27.

 The Smoke Eaters would get back into the game just short of nine minutes into the third on a bad luck goal as Everett Putz won a faceoff in the Dogs end right at Billy Christopoulos. He would attempt to poke the puck up the left wing, but he misplayed it right onto the tape of Kienan Scott, who would slide it into the open net before Christopoulos could recover, to make it 4-3 at 8:55 of the third period. The Bulldogs wouldn't sit back as they continued to control the play and spent long stretches in the Smoke Eaters end. They couldn't build the lead though, and it came back to bite them as the Smoke Eaters dumped the puck down ice. A Bulldog would race off the bench to win a race to it, but rushed a clearing attempt up the boards that was kept in by Max Newton. He would walk into the right circle and rip one top corner, short-side high on Christopoulos for an assisted marker to make it 4-4 with 3:33 to play in the third. Again the Dogs didn't sit back, as they stormed the Smokies net, but again they couldn't get a bounce. The Smoke Eaters would go up 5-4 with 1:34 to play on another tough-luck goal as Dallas Calvin put a puck on net that went off a Bulldog stick and in past a puzzled Christopoulos as he couldn't located the deflection. Assists went to Charlie Zuccarini and Jake Lucchini. The Bulldogs would get their goalie out and get a mad scramble around the Smoke Eaters net in the final minute, but Brett Clark held the fort as the Dogs couldn't get the equalizer.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 48-40 with Billy Christopoulos taking the loss in a relief effort while Brett Clark picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 1 on the power play - the second straight road game they earned but one power play - while the Smoke Eaters went 0 for 3.

The Bulldogs are in Vernon tomorrow, for a 6:00pm puck drop as they visit the Vipers.


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