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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rivermen top Dogs 6-4 in a crazy one

Tonight's Game Report is brought to you courtesy of the Best Western Plus Barclay Hotel 

The BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel, the largest full facility hotel in Port Alberni, BC. When staying with us there is no need to give up conveniences you are used to. You can discover treasures to take home at the Alberni Harbour Quay, and then browse our onsite Cold Beer, Wine Store and liquor store or retreat to our Stamps Cafe or Pastimes Sports Bar and Grill to enjoy a snack or to watch the game on our big screen TV. Then, relax in our sauna or pool before settling in our luxurious accommodations to enjoy the vintage wine picked up earlier. That's when you will truly understand why the tranquil setting of our hotel has been called the perfect place to call home. If traveling on business, our Port Alberni Hotel boasts over 4500 square feet of meeting space in four rooms that are perfect for small conventions, banquets, parties, meetings and weddings. AV equipment and catering are also available.

A fast paced start to the game with just two whistles through the first four minutes of the contest. The Rivermen had a great scoring chance in the opening seconds of the game, as they countered on the rush off a Bulldog turnover at the attacking line and drove the net with speed and threw the puck on the net where it was tipped on goal by Matthew Graham from the slot, with Brody Claeys coming up with a big shoulder save to keep it out. The Bulldogs would be whistled for the first two penalties of the game, but came up with two kills to keep it scoreless. They would then open the scoring just a minute after the midway point of the period when Chris Schutz fed the puck out of the right corner and back to the right point for Tyler Cooper, who did a good job to simply get the puck through the traffic and onto the net on a low wrister. Quinn Sykydiuk would block the shot in front, and pull it across the crease and tuck it home past the glove of Bo Didur to make it 1-0 at 11:00 of the first. Shortly afterwards, the Dogs would earn their first power play of the game and they made quick work of it, going up 2-0 just eight seconds into the advantage as Chris Schutz won the draw back to Jordan Sandhu, who sent it to Paul Meyer at the top of the point. He would dish it off to Schutz in the left circle, where he blasted a one-timer home through Didur at 16:18 of the first for a 2-0 Dogs lead after one, and the Dogs up 12-10 in the shots on goal department.

The Dogs would once again kill off a penalty to start the second, and then earn a power play themselves that they again connected on as Garrett Halls took a pass at the top of the point from Chris Schutz, that he fed back to Schutz at the top of the left circle. He would stop the pass and then rip a snap shot top corner, right under the cross bar on Didur. Things at this point were going quite well for the Bulldogs and bad for the Rivermen, but that would change in a big hurry near the midway point of the period. Scott Clark would bump a Rivermen forward onto the net, who in turn jumped on Clark and proceeded to feed him a series of punches while Clark was defenseless on his back. The Referees would initially indicate that it would be 5 on 5 hockey, but seemingly out of no where a 5:00 penalty went up on the board to Clark. It would be a Match Penalty.  The Bulldogs would do a good job through the first four minutes of the kill, but credit the Rivermen for sticking with it as they found the net on a rebound off the crossbar in tight when Justin Fregona lifted the loose puck home. Assists on the play went to Max Kaufman and Cameron Ginetti at 15:46 of the second. Just a minute later, the Dogs were sent to the penalty box again, and again the Rivermen connected on it as Brody Claeys made the initial save on a Justin Szeto shot, only to have it go off his shoulder, straight up in the air and back down and off his back and over the line. The goal was unassisted at 18:27 of the second to make it a 3-2 Dogs lead after two. The Bulldogs out shot the Rivermen 11-9 in the period despite being down a man for close to eleven minutes, for a two period advantage of 23-19.

The third period saw the Rivermen appear to be further motivated by their fortunes to end the second, while the Dogs appeared to be a little tight. The Rivermen would push, and would be rewarded with the equalizer just past the midway point of the frame as a D-to-D pass in the Dogs zone was missed, and then found by Ryan Barrow in the slot who snapped one home low, stick-side on Claeys to make it 3-3, unassisted at 10:07 of the second. Just two minutes and two seconds later the Rivermen had the lead for the first time, as Max Kaufman drove the net and split the defence, before just missing the net while sliding in on his knees. He would pick the puck up back of the net and wrap it around inside the far post to make it 4-3. I thought it was Kaufman's goal, but credit for it went to Justin Fregona, from Kaufman and Cameron Ginetti at 12:09 of the third. It was a two-goal Langley lead just over two minutes later as the Rivermen kept pushing and the Dogs tried to respond to all of a sudden trailing the game, as Matthew Graham was set up in the slot on a pass out of the corner that he ripped top corner, far-side over Claeys. Torrin White and Adam Sinclair picked up the assists at 14:15 of the third to make it 5-3. A plethora of penalties, and some gambling, put the Dogs back into the game as they pulled their goalie with just under four minutes to play after Langley took a penalty while on the power play to make it a 5 on 4 situation for the Dogs. Langley would take another penalty, and the Dogs infraction would end, making it a 6 on 3 situation that the Dogs connected on as Paul Meyer threw the puck at the net that was stopped by Didur, but he couldn't find the rebound that was put on goal by first Eric Margo and finally by Josh Adkins into the back of the net to make it a 5-4 game at 18:04 of the third. After the goal, Eric Margo would get whistled for cross-checking, while Troy Dobbs also picked up a penalty - from the bench? The Dogs would remain on the power play, and then drew another penalty with the goalie out for the extra attacker looking for the equalizer. They had a couple fantastic looks, but their comeback came up just short when they won an attacking zone draw with 18 seconds to go but poked it out of reach of their defenceman and to centre ice where it was chased down by Matthew Graham who scored into the empty net while shorthanded for a 6-3 final at 19:50.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 37-27, with Brody Claeys taking the loss while Bo Didur picked up the win. Unofficial special teams stats - it was a mess at times - I had the Dogs at 3 for 6 on the power play, and the Rivermen at 2 for 7 while also scoring a shorthanded empty netter.

The Dogs are next in action Friday night in Salmon Arm, kicking off a three-in-three Interior swing.

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