Saturday, September 12, 2015
Dogs drop season opener 6-3 in Duncan
A very fast start to the game and to the season as there weren't any whistles over the first two minutes off the opening puck drop, which is a good way to get everyone into the game. The Capitals would push the pace early and had the better of the chances with Chris Tai coming up big on a partial breakaway for Jarid Domin as he got his glove out to keep it scoreless just two minutes in. The Dogs would continue to give up odd-man rushes, and it burnt them just over five minutes in when the Caps initially failed to connect on a cross-ice pass on a 2 on 1 rush, but they found the net seconds later when the puck was retrieved behind the net and jammed over the line in front by Adam Osczevski. Assists on the play went to Ryan Burton and Kade Kehoe at 5:51 of the first. The Bulldogs would tie the game less than two minutes later on the power play when the Capitals were caught with too-many-men on the ice. Quick puck movement D-to-D across the blue line saw Paul Meyer feed Troy Dobbs at the right point where he blew a slap shot top corner over the glove of Lane Michasiw to make it 1-1 at 7:32 of the first. The Capitals would take the lead back five minutes later on another unfortunate sequence of events as the Dogs failed to get the puck out of their zone when Tyler Cooper was drilled headfirst into the side boards by Adam Osczevski. The puck made its way back to the blue line to Connor Russell. He would just throw the puck at the net where it hit traffic and ended up in the air where it was knocked home by Adam Osczevski to make it 2-1. Kade Kehoe also drew an assist on the play at 12:01 of the first. Cooper was injured on the play, and did not return to the game. The Capitals would score a crucial late goal with time ticking in the first period as the Bulldogs again got caught standing up at their own blue line as Adam Osczevski carried the puck over the Dogs line down the left wing where he cut to the goal and sniped one top corner, short-side over the glove to Tai to make it 3-1 Capitals at 19:04 of the first period with Kade Kehoe drawing the only assist. The Dogs out shot the Capitals 13-8 through the first 20 minutes.
The second period started with very wet ice with hot conditions outside, and a Zamboni malfunction inside the Island Savings Centre. I didn't think that the game should've been played with the ice as wet as it was, but the Officials dropped the puck anyway. The Bulldogs looked to get a great chance from it early in the period when the puck stuck on wet ice in the Capitals zone, but Will Lavezzorio couldn't get a shot away. Seconds later it was a 4-1 game when Adam Osczevski scored his fourth of the game on a breakaway all the way from the Caps blue line that he made good on with a leg kick fake to freeze Tai before sliding it home inside the post. The goal was unassisted at 1:20 of the second. The Caps continued to push, going up 5-1 and chasing Tai from the game just short of seven minutes into the period when an odd bounce saw the puck carom off the end boards in front of the goal line where Matt Hudie one-timed it home from a sharp angle. The only assist on the play went to Patrick Geary at 6:59 into the second. That would do it for Chris Tai's night, as Carson Schamerhorn entered the game in relief. The Bulldogs would be penalized almost immediately afterwards, but they killed it off to keep it close. The Dogs would get two power play chances in a row later in the period to try and get back into it, but they failed to connect. Shots in the period favoured the Capitals 11-8, for a two period advantage for the Bulldogs of 21-19.
The third period had a lack of pace from the get-go, and a plethora of penalties that no doubt played a part in it. The Caps went to the power play initially on a hit by Adam Donnelly on Ryan Hogg. There was no call on the play, but as the Dogs carried the puck up ice and over the Caps line with Carson Schamerhorn heading to the bench for an extra attacker a call was made on the initial hit. While the Referee signalled boarding, the call would then be changed to a blow to the head. A couple quick penalties the other way, and the Bulldogs went to a 4 on 3 advantage. They would connect on it on a nice set up when Quinn Syryduik took a Taylor Derynck pass and put a perfect feed onto the tape of a pinching Paul Meyer at the backdoor where he made no mistake for his first career goal ripping it home top corner to make it 5-2 at 8:01 of the third. The Dogs would get another power play shortly afterwards, but they couldn't connect on it to really make a game of it. The Caps re-established the four goal lead with eight minutes to play when an ill advised cross-ice pass in the Dogs zone went off a teammates pant leg and onto the tape of Jarid Domin who walked in alone on Schamerhorn who made the first save but couldn't control the rebound as Domin fired it home short-side to make it 6-2, un-assisted at 11:41 of the third period. Once again the Dogs didn't quit, as they converted on another late power play to make it a 6-3 game on a simple play where the puck was just thrown on net by Taylor Derynck. I wasn't sure if it had eyes or hit something, but the goal was given to Jordan Sandhu for his first career marker. Eric Margo was given the only assist, but Derynck also certainly deserved one at 16:38 of the third period. It would be too little, too late however, as that's as close as the Dogs would get.
Final shots favoured the Dogs 33-27 with Chris Tai taking the loss giving up the five goals in the Dogs net, and Lane Michasiw picking up the win and third star honours for the Capitals. I had the Dogs going 3 for 8 on the power play and the Capitals going 0 for 5.
Next up - the Dogs home opener next Saturday when the Victoria Grizzlies pay the 'Pound a visit.