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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Great effort, no result, Dogs drop 4th straight 4-0 to Grizzlies

The Grizzlies had a great chance to open the scoring on the second shot of the game as a deflected Zach Dixon point shot hit the post behind Christopoulos. After the Grizzlies looked like the sharper team over the first couple of shifts, the Dogs got the bus legs out and started to push the pace. They would earn a power play opportunity, and although they failed to score on it they generated some good chances and had zone time to keep the momentum as they continued to push over the next couple of shifts to take a 7-3 lead in shots through the media time out 10:10 into the first. The Grizzlies would earn a power play shortly afterwards, and although the Dogs would kill it thanks to a great backdoor save by Billy Christopoulos on a Kevin Massy chance, the Dogs coughed the puck up at the blue line and could never clear the zone to get in a much needed change. The Grizzlies would make them pay for it as Thomas Gobeil was set up in the deep slot by Jay Mackie for a one-timer that he blew high past Christopoulos. No assists were given on the play by either of the two Referees, but it was Mackie, and possibly Cole Pickup, who might earn the second assist on it at 13:43 of the first. The Grizzlies would carry the momentum immediately afterwards and didn't take long to double their lead as again the Bulldogs coughed the puck up at their own line resulting in a breakaway for Brett Gruber. He was stopped by Christopoulos, but he didn't get any help on the rebound as Dane Gibson found it in front and swept it in with a one-handed backhand as Christopoulos tried to get over. Assists on the goal went to Gruber and Matt Kennedy at 15:03 of the first for a 2-0 Grizzlies lead after one and the shots even at 10-10.

The Bulldogs came out with a big time jump in their step to start the second, hemming the Grizzlies in their zone for over a minute. Drew Weich would set up Mitch Makin all alone in front where he deked out Stiliadis and had him down on the ice, only to have the Grizzlies netminder made a desperation save getting something on it to keep it out. While portions of the period were controlled by either team, the Bulldogs had the better of the play and the better of the chances, however they had nothing to show for it as they couldn't convert and Stiliadis stood tall in the Grizzlies net stopping Chris Schutz and Justin Marreck in tight, and Troy Dobbs and Marcus Russell on partial breakaways while Everett Putz also had an in-alone chance right down the middle that he just put high and wide. The Dogs would out shoot the Grizzlies 14-7 over the period, with the Grizzlies earning the only two power plays of the period, for a 24-17 Bulldog shots on goal advantage after two periods of play but still a 2-0 deficit.

Once again the third period saw the Bulldogs have some great chances around the Grizzlies net, on another partial breakaway in the opening minute that they couldn't capitalize on. Later in the period Josh Adkins while on the attack in the Grizzlies zone had his stick and glove slashed viciously out of his hands, only to have neither of the two Referees make a call with the Bulldogs bench up in arms. The Grizzlies would almost immediately afterwards make it a 3-0 game when a Bulldog defender stepped up and missed at the offensive blue line allowing a 2 on 1 rush. Drew Weich would play it almost perfectly, but as was the theme of the night the puck luck wasn't on their side as it appeared to hit the stick of Weich and bounce up and over Christopoulos and into the net. Meirs Moore and Matt Kennedy picked up the assists at 6:47 of the third. After a big breakaway save by Billy Christopoulos on Dane Gibson that was a direct result of the puck going off a Referee, the Dogs all of a sudden managed to draw a couple of penalties late in the game for a chance to get back in it. They would come once again painfully close - Taylor Derynck rang one off the post, and several Bulldogs missed on open nets and loose pucks at the side of the crease as it stayed 3-0. The Grizzlies would rub some salt in the wound with less than two minutes to play - on a play that I thought was at least a foot offside as a Bulldog defender got a stick on a stretch pass to slow it up considerably, but the Linesman said Jay Mackie was still on-side and he skated in on the breakaway where he snapped it home past the blocker of Christopoulos. Assists went to Kevin Massy and Thomas Gobeil at 18:33 of the third for the 4-0 final score.

Shots favoured the Dogs 32-26 with Billy Christopoulos taking the loss and Michael Stiliadis earning 1st star honours with the shut out and the win. The Dogs went 0 for 4 on the power play while the Grizzlies went 0 for 5.


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