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Friday, February 20, 2015

Dogs tie it late, lose it late, another 4-3 hearbreaker in Salmon Arm

A hard paced start to the game, with each side ready to play from the get-go and the Dogs forced to be on their game early as the Silverbacks pushed hard out of the gate. The Bulldogs drew a penalty early in the contest, and made good on the opportunity with beautiful player and puck movement seeing Drew Weich feed Brett Stewart at the right point, where he put a perfect back-door pass onto the tape of Chris Schutz who made no mistake in one-timing it home from the bottom of the left circle before Angus Redmond could get over. Assists on the play went to Makin and Stewart, but it should have been Stewart and Weich at 4:49 of the first for a 1-0 Dogs lead. The Silverbacks would have an opportunity shortly afterwards on a power play of their own, but the Dogs did a good job to kill it off. The 'Backs continued to push, and had several great chances on a shift when they contained the Dogs in their zone, but Billy Christopoulos was rock solid to preserve the lead. The Silverbacks would draw a penalty at the end of the shift, and a double-minor late in the first, but again the Dogs penalty killers and Christopoulos stood tall to keep it 1-0 Dogs after one, with the Silverbacks leading the shots 11-8.

The Dogs would kill off the first part of the double-minor to start the second, and got late into the second half of it, but the Silverbacks would find the net to tie the game on a tough luck play from the Dogs perspective as a centering pass was one-timed at the net, only to be blocked off Josh Adkins' face. It would bounce rink wide onto the tape of Carson Bolduc who fired it off traffic and into the open side. Assists on the power play goal went to Taro Hirose and Joshua Laframboise at the 1:12 mark of the second. The Dogs would take two more penalties, again killing them off to keep it 1-1. They would finally draw a penalty in the back half of the period, but instead of taking the lead back it was Salmon Arm going up 2-1 as Brett Stewart couldn't knock down Scottie Clark's pass at the Dogs line, resulting in a shorthanded breakaway for Josh Blanchard that he made no mistake on, scoring with a leg-kick and a top corner backhand past Christopoulos for the un-assisted marker at 12:12 of the second. The Dogs would fight back against the momentum, and drew a penalty late in the period but failed to capitalize. They would make good on a face-off in the Salmon Arm end late in the period when Troy Dobbs had a shot at the net blocked, only to see Marcus Russell find it behind the goal and put a perfect pass out front to an un-marked Eric Margo who made no mistake, one-timing it home top corner, far-side over the glove of Redmond to make it 2-2 at 19:46 of the second. Shots favoured the Dogs 11-9 in the period, for a 20-19 Salmon Arm advantage after two periods of play.

As much as they took penalties through the first 40 minutes, the Dogs drew them early in the third. Eric Margo would draw a penalty that saw the Dogs spend a good portion of the two minutes moving the puck around the zone, but being unable to get any pucks on net. The Silverbacks shortly afterwards would take the lead back on a face-off when a shot from the line was blocked and ended up in the slot on the stick of Colton Thibault who fired it home past the glove of Christopoulos. Anthony Gardner picked up the only assist at 5:21 of the third. The Bulldogs would push hard throughout the third period, carrying the better of the play and quite simply refusing to quit. They would play desperate hockey, and get rewarded for it with just 33 seconds to go after Billy Christopoulos made two breakaway saves on Thomas Plese to keep it a one goal game. The Dogs went the other way and got the goalie out for the extra attacker where they tied the game as Everett Putz fed Garrett Halls on the right wing boards where he walked to the circle and ripped one on net that was stopped by Redmond, but the rebound came right out front to Dylan Haugen who one-timed home to make it 3-3 with just 33 seconds to play. Both sides of the puck went from elation to heartbreak and vice versa just 10 seconds later however when a dump in at the Dogs line was blocked high in the air and into the slot in the Dogs zone. A Bulldog defender would misplay it and it resulted in a breakaway for Carson Bolduc who avoided a Billy Christopoulos poke-check to fire into the open side to make it 4-3 with 27 seconds to go for the eventual final score.

Shots favoured the Bulldogs 31-26 with Billy Christopoulos taking the loss while Angus Redmond picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 5 on the power play while the Silverbacks went 1 for 6 while also scoring once shorthanded.

The Dogs road trip continues tomorrow when they face the Vees in Penticton for a 6pm puck drop.


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