Saturday, February 28, 2015
Dogs snap streak, top Kings 3-1 to head into playoffs on a winning note
Compared to the start the night before, this one was pleasant to call with nothing in the way of controversy ending up on the scoreboard just a minute into the game. In fact there wasn't even a whistle until past the two minute mark of the period as the teams were able to roll their lines and get everyone into the game. The Kings would be awarded a power play just inside of five minutes into the game and threw plenty of pucks at the net, but the Dogs defenders did a good job to protect Christopoulos and his crease as they killed it off. The Bulldogs would generate a flurry of chances late in the period, with the line of Margo-Russell-Blackmun earning several point-blankers on one shift. The Dogs drew their first penalty of the game with less than a minute to go in the period when Justin Marreck attacked the Kings zone with speed and split the defenders to skate in alone on a breakaway where he was hooked and wasn't able to get a shot away. The period would finish in a 0-0 tie, with the Kings leading the shots 10-9.
The Bulldogs failed to connect on the power play to start the period, but earned another one shortly afterwards when Brett Stewart was hit from behind by JJ Coleshaw. The Dogs made quick work of the advantage, as Mitch Makin won the draw for Scottie Clark, who fed it back to the line to Brett Stewart. He would fire a high and hard one that missed the goal and clanged off the glass before bouncing right back to the slot and onto the tape of Clark who snapped it home, far-side past the blocker of Wornig at the 4:04 mark of the second. The Dogs built their lead late in the period on another power play when Marcus Russell used his outside speed to draw a penalty on a net drive and a partial breakaway. In the back-half of the power play Brett Stewart would walk the line and put a drop pass onto the tape of Mitch Makin, who set up Chris Schutz at the top of the left circle. He would walk into the faceoff dot and rip a wrist shot short-side past Wornig to make it 2-0 at at 18:01 of the second. The Dogs out shot the Kings 15-3 over the period for a 40 minute advantage of 24-13.
The Kings would make it a brand new game - or so it looked momentarily - just a minute into the third period when they got on the board to cut the lead to 2-1 when Jarid Lukosevicius fought off a check to walk across the top of the left circle before throwing a back-door pass onto the tape of a pinching in Jeremy Leclerc that he chipped up and over Christopoulos to make it 2-1. Somehow, Lukosevicius wouldn't pick up an assist on the play as they were awarded to Kurt Keats and Jacob Pritchard on the marker at the 1:00 mark of the third. The Bulldogs would come right back just 45 seconds later to make it a 3-1 lead as Everett Putz was sent in on a partial breakaway, only to be stopped by Wornig. Dylan Haugen was also stopped in tight on the rebound, before Josh Adkins found it and threw it back in front. Haugen had another wack at it before Everett Putz cut across the crease and slid it home at the 1:45 mark of the third. That would complete the scoring as the Dogs did a fantastic job to not give up much the rest of the way, killing off a 6 on 5 over the final two minutes then a Kings power play to make the lead stand before drawing a penalty with less than 20 seconds left to erase all doubt.
Third period shots favoured the Bulldogs 10-9 for a game total of 34-22 Bulldogs, with Billy Christopoulos picking up the win while Stefan Wornig picked up third star honours with the loss. The Dogs went 2 for 5 on the power play while Powell River went 0 for 4.
The Dogs next see action in Nanaimo for Games 1 and 2 of the Island Division Semi-Finals Best of Seven series Tuesday and Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs host Games 3 and Game 4 Friday and Saturday, with a pregame Tailgate BBQ to benefit Kidsport both nights.