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Friday, February 13, 2015

Dogs fall 8-4 to Grizzlies in wild one at the Bear

The Bulldogs looked a step slow out of the gate in this one, and took a penalty 1:41 into the game which also didn't help their cause. The Dogs almost escaped the penalty unscathed, but the Grizzlies connected on it with just four seconds left in the penalty when Jake Emilio dropped the puck at the Bulldogs line on a switch up for Thomas Gobeil, who walked uncontested into the left circle and ripped a perfect shot top corner, far-side over the glove of Christopoulos to make it 1-0. Garrett Forster also drew an assist on the play at 3:38 of the first. The Bulldogs would be the benefactors on what looked like a missed call on a trip in their zone, before drawing a penalty moments later at the other end of the ice. They would connect on it early in the power play as Drew Weich put the puck down the right wing boards for Brett Stewart, who set up Mitch Makin at the top of the circle. Makin would walk to the slot and fight of a hook and put a weak shot on goal. The change up would beat Michael Stiliadis five-hole, as he may have been distracted by the traffic at the net. Brett Stewart would draw the only assist, but Drew Weich was certainly in on the play at 7:59 of the first. The goal would inspire the Dogs, as they got going and had some good chances the rest of the way, most notably a Dylan Haugen breakaway late in the period that saw him go top corner only to hit where the post and crossbar meet and see the puck stay out. Shots favoured the Bulldogs 12-7 after 20 minutes.

The score would stay 1-1 through the first half of the second period, with the Grizzlies drawing a penalty after hemming the Dogs in their zone near the midway point. The Dogs would again do a solid job of killing it off, only allowing a single shot. The game was relatively flat and without much emotion, although the Dogs carried a 19-9 lead in shots into the final eight minutes of the period. The game would change very quickly however, as the Grizzlies went up 2-1 on an odd play at the net that saw a shot appear to defect off of a pair of Bulldog sticks before being just kept out by Christopoulos. The rebound would bounce out rink-wide onto the stick of a wide open Jay Mackie who one-timed it past a diving Christopoulos. Assists on the play went to Dane Gibson and Brett Gruber at 13:26. Less than a minute later the Bulldogs appeared to be snoozing defensively as a defender went for a big hit and missed and the Grizzlies attacked with numbers and no one picked up Ayden MacDonald who walked to the net un-checked down the left wing where he one-timed the cross-ice pass top corner short-side past the blocker of Christopoulos who tried in vain to go from post to post and almost got there. Assists on the play went to Sean McBride and Zachary Dixon at the 14:09 mark of the second for a 3-1 Grizzlies lead after two periods and the Dogs up in the shots on goal department 24-15.

The Bulldogs came out with a resounding thud to start the third period, coughing up the puck in their own zone on a pass up the middle. Dane Gibson would find it and throw it at the net where Brett Gruber one-timed it into the open side to make it 4-1 just 12 seconds into the frame. The Bulldogs however would answer back just nine seconds later as Tyler Povelofskie took a Scottie Clark pass and sent Mitch Makin in alone where he roofed it right under the bar to make it 4-2 at the 21 second mark of the period. The Grizzlies would be penalized on the goal celebration, and the Bulldogs went to the power play where they scored to make it 4-3, only to have the goal waved off by the Referee as the Grizzlies goalie didn`t have his mask on. I initially thought it was a good call as you can`t play with the goalie without a helmet on. However upon looking at the replay (which I`m well aware the Officials don`t have) it was obvious that as Makin is in the process of scoring his hat trick goal that Stiliadis placed his own hand onto his cage and took his own mask right off his head. In the end the call would stand and instead of 4-3 it remained a 4-2 Grizzlies lead and they wouldn`t look back from that point, going up 5-2 at the 9:02 mark on a poorly defended faceoff in the Dogs end that saw three Grizzlies jump to the net with not much of a challenge from the Bulldogs defense as Brett Gruber scored into the open side with Dane Gibson and Jay Mackie at 9:02 of the third. Again the Bulldogs answered right back, making it 5-3 just 50 seconds later when Drew Blackmun ripped one home from the slot after a big hit by Eric Margo kept the puck in the zone. Marcus Russell and Eric Margo drew the assists on it at 9:52 of the third. The Bulldogs would give it right back just two minutes later on another careless giveaway in their own end that saw Dane Gibson pick off a pass behind the net and throw it to the top of the point where Zachary Dixon blew a slap shot home blocker side on Christopoulos at 11:24 of the third to make it 6-3. The Bulldogs would draw a penalty to again give themselves a chance to get back into it, but they would shoot themselves in the foot as a defenseman went casually back for the puck and got run over by Ayden MacDonald who put a perfect pass to the slot for Cole Pickup who one-timed it home top corner for the shorthanded marker to make it 7-3 with 12:32 gone in the third. Just over thirty seconds later the Dogs struck back, as a Mitch Makin shot from the top of the slot was tipped wide by Scottie Clark. Tyler Povelofskie would find the loose puck and fire it home short-side before Stiliadis could recover to make it 7-4 at 13:09 of the third period. The Bulldogs would draw another power play chance late and pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but the Grizzlies did a good job to win battles in their zone and not give the Dogs a chance to get set up. The Grizzlies would complete the scoring with 3:03 into the empty net when Brett Gruber completed the hat trick with Dane Gibson and Thomas Huddelstan assisting for the 8-4.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 39-23 with Billy Christopoulos taking the loss while Michael Stiliads took the loss. The Dogs went 2 for 6 on the power play with the Grizzlies going 1 for 4 while also scoring once shorthanded.

The Bulldogs host the Merritt Centennials at the Dog Pound tomorrow night.


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