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The Vipers were the team that appeared to have an extra jump to their step off the opening puck drop, and the Dogs appeared to be chasing the game a bit. The Vipers would have a fantastic early chance on an odd play that saw a Bulldog forward and the linesman tie up, resulting in a 2 on 1 that saw Carson Schamerhorn go post to post to make a big stop. Vernon would take a 1-0 lead just over six minutes into the game when newly aquired Ben Butcher put a shot on net from the bottom of the right circle that he put through Carson Schamerhorn. Assists on the play went to Jimmy Lambert and Brett Stapley at 6:16 of the first. The Bulldogs would push back later in the period and draw even late in a power play opportunity when Nathan Dingmann chased down a dump in and fed a pass to the left point to Tristan Bukovec. He went d-to-d to the right point for Paul Meyer, who put a pass through the slot that went off the stick of Nathan Dingmann and onto the tape of Chris Schutz in the left circle who wasted no time in firing a wrist shot through the legs of Brendan Barry to make it 1-1 at 15:43 of the first. The Dogs would take the lead three minutes later on a scramble at the net after an initial save by Barry that saw Chris Schutz throw the puck on net from a sharp angle. Quinn Syrydiuk would have an initial wack at it, before Nathan Dingmann poked it home to make it 2-1 Dogs at 18:58 of the first. Shots favoured the Vipers 15-13 after 20 minutes.
After killing off a Viper power play to open the period, the Dogs quickly went up 3-1 as Nathan Dingmann knocked a puck down in the high slot when it was headed the other way and put it to the front of the net for Quinn Syrydiuk. He would knock it down and feed a perfect rink-wide pass to the left side of the slot for Chris Schutz who one-timed it home short side before Barry could get over to make it 3-1 Bulldogs at 3:06 of the second. Despite the deficit, the Vipers continued to push and didn't sag. They would be rewarded five minutes later when the Dogs failed to clear the puck out of their zone and the Viper pressure resulted in a loose puck in the left corner that saw Christian Cakebread set up Odeen Tufto, who in turn ripped a hard cross-crease pass onto the tape of Liam Finlay that he one-timed home with Schamerhorn having no chance to make it 3-2 at 8:33 of the second as the Dogs carried the lead into period three. Vernon took a 31-20 edge in shots to the room, out-shooting the Dogs 16-7 in the period.
The third period saw the Dogs strike just under six minutes into the period on the power play after things got a little heated and a Viper was ejected for a hit from behind on a healthy run on Paul Meyer. Just seconds into the power play it was a 4-2 Dogs lead as Quinn Syrydiuk won the draw to Josh Adkins. He would work a give-and-go with Marshall Skapski that saw Skapski scored on a mostly fanned-on one-timer attempt from the right point that knuckled off a Viper defender and past Barry for his first career goal at 5:36 of the third. The Dogs made it a 5-2 game five minutes later - a season high for goals - when Nathan Dingmann and Quinn Syrydiuk teamed up to set up Chris Schutz in the slot, where he was stopped once and twice by Barry before banging home the third rebound for his first career hat trick at 10:22 with a large scrum breaking out after the whistle at the net as hats rained down on the ice. Four minutes later the Vipers answered back to make it 5-3 - full credit to them as they never quit in a game that didn't seem meant to be. A Bulldog defender stepped up and missed on a check at centre, and on an odd-man rush Bo Pellah made a rink-wide pass that was one-timed home by Riley Brandt, with Ben Butcher also drawing an assist at 14:40 to make it 5-3. The Dogs would seal the deal late - on a play that indicated the character of Chris Schutz, as he intercepted a Bo Pellah pass and skated to the Viper line and instead of firing home his fourth goal of the game he made an unselfish play to set up Cayden Kraus for his first career goal to make it 6-3 with 1:30 to play for the eventual 6-3 final score.
Final shots favoured the Vipers 40-28 with Carson Schamerhorn picking up the win in net while Brendan Barry took the loss. The Dogs went 2 for 3 on the power play while the Vipers went 0 for 4.
The Dogs are on home ice tomorrow when they host the Prince George Spruce Kings.