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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dogs drop fourth straight, 4-1 in Merritt

The Bulldogs appeared a step slow to start this one, and the Centennials were absolutely flying off the opening puck drop, getting several good chances including a breakaway that Nathan Warren stopped. The Centennials kept their foot on the gas, going up 1-0 4:32 into the game when Gavin Gould walked over the Bulldogs line up the left wing where he put a top corner slap shot on goal from the boards that beat Warrren top corner, far-side over the glove, with Diego Cuglietta picking up the assist. Just over a minute and change later it was 2-0 Centennials when they made quick work on the power play, as Shane Poulson blew a one-timer home far-side past the glove of Warren, with assists going to Gavin Gould and Digeo Cuglietta at 5:59 of the first. Warren would come up with a series of good saves as the Cents continued to carry the play, including a highlight reel robbery on Cole Acuri as Warren went post to post and got his glove hand up to somehow keep it out on a rink-wide one timer on an open net. The Centennials would continue to push, and made quick work again on it just 8 seconds into the power play when John Schiavo one-timed home a backdoor pass into an open net before Warren could get over, with assists to Diego Cuglietta and Gavin Gould at 14:38 of the first for a 3-0 Centennials lead after one, and Merritt up in the shots 19-13.

The Bulldogs had a noticeable jump to their step to start the second, drawing a power play early in the period and connecting on it when Scottie Clark one-timed a pass to the slot off Jonah Imoo and in to make it 3-1. Drew Weich and Brett Stewart picked up the assists at 2:42 of the period. There would be no scoring the rest of the way through the second, but not for a lack of chances as both Nathan Warren and Jonah Imoo were sharp to keep it 3-1 Centennials after 40 minutes, with the Dogs out shooting the Cents 12-10 over the period for a 29-25 Merritt advantage after two.

The third period wouldn't start the way the Dogs needed, as opposed to getting an early goal to get back into it, they gave up a goal to fall further back as some careless D-to-D passing got picked off by John Schiavo, who sent Gavin Gould in alone from the top of the circles where he deked and beat Warren glove side to make it 4-1 at the 2:47 mark. Despite the deficit the Dogs didn't quit and continued to play hard, but they couldn't get a bounce around Jonah Imoo's net to make a game of it. The Dogs pulled their goalie with over two minutes to play and had at least a half-dozen grade A shots around the net but couldn't find the back of it with a combination of good saves and shot blocks seeing the Centennials kill the clock for the 4-1 final.

Shots favoured the Centennials 41-40 with Nathan Warren taking the loss in net while Jonah Imoo picked up 2nd star honours with the win. The Dogs went 1 for 5 on the power play while the Centennials went 2 for 7.

The Dogs are next in action Friday and Saturday when they conclude their regular season with a double header in Powell River against the Kings.


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