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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Grizzlies comeback late to defeat Dogs 4-3 in OT

A lightning fast start for the Bulldogs in this one in front of a great crowd, as they took a 1-0 lead before the game was 20 seconds old as Garrett Halls knocked down a clearing attempt that was skated onto by Scottie Clark. He would put a quick shot on goal from the circle that beat Stiliadis long-side through his blocker arm with just 15 seconds gone in the game with Halls drawing the only assist. The pace was fantastic over the next five to six minutes as there was no whistles and great end-to-end hockey to watch with both sides getting a couple chances around the net. After the Official let several things go uncalled each way, the Bulldogs would be penalized on an interaction between the benches on a line change. The Grizzlies would make quick work on the power play, scoring an absolutely gorgeous goal that saw all five players touch the puck in an 11 second span on lighting quick passing that saw Dane Gibson score into a wide-open net off a Brett Gruber pass. Kevin Massy should receive the secondary assist  on the scoring play at 10:46 of the first. The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead late in the frame when Eric Therrien sent Chris Schutz over the Grizzlies line down the right wing where he snapped one on goal that was kicked out, but right back to the slot, by Stiliadis. Braden Fuller would drive the net and snap it into the open cage to make it 2-1 at the 17:52 mark. Just 11 seconds later it was 3-1 Bulldogs, as Mitch Makin carried the puck down the left wing and below the goal line before throwing a cross-ice pass back to the right point to Drew Weich. He would put a shot intentionally wide that was deflected in by Chris Schutz. The Referee would immediatley signal goal, but then called his Linesman over as the Grizzlies complained it was kicked. The goal after a discussion would be awarded, with Schutz getting credit from Weich and Makin at 18:02 of the first for a 3-1 Dogs lead after one. As the discussion on the goal was ongoing, Michael Stiliadis would fire the puck in frustration into the crowd and strike a fan - possibly accidentally, but nevertheless certainly something that shouldn't happen and something that might have further repercussions. The shots favoured the Bulldogs 13-6 after 20 minutes.

The second period would see no scoring, with the Bulldogs being penalized twice more throughout the first half of the frame and doing a fantastic job to not give up much to preserve their two goal lead. The Dogs drew their first power play of the game with two minutes left in the period and generated a great chance that saw Michael Stiliadis go post to post to rob Braden Fuller on what looked like an open net as it stayed 3-1 after 40 minutes with the Dogs out shooting the Grizzlies 13-8 for a two period total of 26-14.

The third period was again played at a high pace, with the Dogs doing a good job of not sitting back but not giving up much as they continued to lead by two. The Grizzlies however would continue to push, and made it a 3-2 game in the back-half of the period as a keep at the blue line resulted in a D-to-D pass that Thomas Huddelstan threw at the net that was deflected on goal by Dane Gibson. Billy Christopoulos would make the first save, but an un-marked Jay Mackie found the open side on the rebound to make it 3-2 at 11:08 of the third. The Dogs held the lead until the late stages, when the Grizzlies pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. Josh Adkins would miss the empty net by a hair, before pursuing the puck in the corner. He would then pick up a penalty on an excuse-me trip, that was in my opinion pretty soft considering all that was let go though the game, but maybe a penalty you need to call with an empty net. The Grizzlies would end up scoring on the six on four situation when Brett Gruber threw the puck front to Thomas Gobeil who roofed the one-timer high over Christopoulos at 19:07 of the third period. The period would end with some rough stuff, resulting in the Dogs going to the power play to start the third period. They somehow would not be awarded a two-man advantage when Drew Weich had his stick slashed out of his hands in the Grizzlies zone, allowing Victoria to clear the puck down the ice. The Dogs would have a great chance to win it as the penalty was expiring when Brett Stewart sent Mitch Makin in alone, only to have Stiliadis make a great save getting his glove up to keep out what appeared to be a shot labelled top corner on the backhand. The Grizzlies would win it seconds later, when a Bulldog defender would fail to keep the puck in at the Grizzlies line while flat-footed, allowing Jay Mackie to skate in on a breakaway. Billy Christopoulos would make the save, but couldn't get any help on the rebound as Thomas Gobeil beat the Dogs to the net and roofed the loose puck under the bar at 3:19 of overtime for the 4-3 final.

Final shots favoured the Dogs 42-25 with Billy Christopoulos taking the loss while Michael Stiliadis picked up the win. The Dogs went 0 for 3 on the power play while the Grizzlies went  2 for 5.

The Dogs are next in action Friday in Salmon Arm as they kick off a three-in-three road trip through the Interior.


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