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Friday, December 18, 2015

Dogs lose second straight 6-1 to Capitals

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

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The pace was fast from the opening puck drop with each team landing  couple of big hits early. The Bulldogs had a great chance just over a minute into the game when Quinn Syrydiuk walked into the right circle and went high short-side on Storm Phaneuf, only to hit the post and cross-bar and have it stay out. The Dogs drew a penalty shortly afterwards and looked good on it for the first minute and change with a couple near misses on pucks on net and scrambles, but the Capitals quickly went up 1-0 on a shorthanded rush as the puck bounced over the stick of a Bulldog defender at the blue line and went the other way for a partial breakaway for Ayden MacDonald down the left wing. Brody Claeys would come up with a good first save but didn't get any help on the rebound as Kade Kehoe beat his man to the net to make it 1-0 at 4:45 with Chris Harpur also drawing an assist. Less than two minutes later it was 2-0 Caps on a faceoff win and a seeing eye slapper by Josh Owings that beat Claeys top corner, far-side over his blocker. Ryan Hogg picked up the only assist at 6:17 of the first. Despite the demoralizing start, the Dogs deserve credit for not packing it in, as they kept working and pushing the pace. They were rewarded for it late in the period when they drew a penalty and connected on it when Nathan Dingmann set up Marshall Skapski in the right circle where he one-timed one off the post, far side on Phaneuf. It would end up right on the tape of Chris Schutz, who wasted no time in one-timing it home at 18:59 of the first. The Dogs would draw another penalty on the next shift on an odd-man rush, and looked to have something going on winning the faceoff. It would bounce over the defenders stick at the line however, resulting in a shorthanded breakaway for Adam Osczevski that Brody Claeys came up big on with a stick save to keep it 2-1 after 20 minutes with the Dogs leading in the shots 15-13.

Before the ice was wet to start the second any momentum the Dogs had gained was immediately lost as the Capitals went up 3-1 while shorthanded as Patrick Geary chased down a loose puck and walked down the right wing where he blew a slap shot inside the far post past the blocker of Claeys just 25 seconds into the period. The Capitals would further pad the lead on a pass out of the corner to the lip of the crease one-timed home by Kyle Topping through the legs of Claeys. Assists on the play went to Mitch Meek and Ben Berard at 6:27 of the second as the Caps led 4-1 and Carson Schamerhorn came off the bench in relief in net. The Bulldogs would have two fantastic chances late in the period as they had back to back shorthanded breakaways, the first for Brodie Smith, the second for Rhett Willcox, both stopped by Storm Phaneuf. The Dogs and the fans in the building were incensed immediately following the chance as Willcox went to the end boards to retrieve the puck where he was hit from behind by Connor Russell. There was no call on the play, and no whistle on the subsequent stick swinging between the two players. The boo birds really came out seconds later when Russel went up ice and took a pass out of the left corner and walked into the slot before ripping a wrister far-side past the blocker of Schamerhorn to make it 5-1, with assists to MacDonald and Geary at 16:05. Fireworks predictably erupted on the following shift when Quinn Syrydiuk was jumped by Ben Verall for a hit on a Caps forward. Another penalty against the Caps put the Dogs on a 4 on 3 power play, but despite several good chances they couldn't beat Phaneuf as he stood tall to keep it 5-1 Caps after 40 minutes. The Dogs out shot the Capitals 13-5 over the period for a 28-18 advantage after two periods, but it was the Capitals that found the net three times.

The Bulldogs put on a push to start the third, but couldn't but a break to get back into it, coming close when Eric Margo rang a shot off the bar that stayed out. While the Bulldogs would continue to have their opportunities as the period wore on, they couldn't connect on them. Immediately following a 3 on 2 rush and an in alone chance for Tristan Bukovec that went up and over the net, the Caps went up ice and scored on a jam in attempt in the crease that saw Jarid Domin poke a loose puck through the legs of Schamerhorn. Matt Hudie and Kade Kedoe drew the assists on the play at 10:52 of the third to make it 6-1. Immediately following the goal an ugly incident saw Marshall Skapski take an awkward hit into the end boards from Jarid Domin. I didn't really blame Domin on the hit as Skapski attempted to reverse his track directly in front of him. What followed however was fairly disgusting to watch as Domin was challenged by Garrett Halls. Domin was a willing recipient, perhaps even having hit mitts off first. As Halls went down on his back on the outside of the net, Domin would stand above him and throw about four sucker-punch right hands into his face. Maybe I'm from all of a sudden a different era, but I strongly dislike anyone who punches anyone when they are down and the fight is over. I think it's cheap and dangerous and it lacks respect and it made me pretty hot if you can't tell, but maybe things happen when "emotions run high". It's not a matter of bias and seeing the game through rose coloured glasses either - as I stated during the game last night against Victoria, Drayson Pears deserved some commendation and he earned my respect for NOT taking advantage of player when he was down. At the same time if a Bulldog player hits a guy when he's down I shed light on it and don't ignore it. Just my passionate 2 cents. In the end Domin picked up a major for a blow to the head, a double minor for roughing and an unsportsmanlike conduct minor but the Dogs didn't take advantage of the power play as they took a penalty early in the minor.

Final shots favoured the Capitals 34-26 with Storm Phaneuf picking up third star honours with the win in net while Brody Claeys took the loss giving up four goals on sixteen shots in 26 minutes of work. Unofficial special team stats as it was a bit of a circus at times - I had the Dogs at 1 for 7 on the power play and the Capitals at 1 for 3 while the Capitals also scored twice shorthanded.

The Dogs next see action December 30th and 31st when they ring in 2016 by visiting the Kings for a double header in Powell River.

After going into play Friday night on a two game winning streak, dropping back to back decisions by a large margin is obviously not the way the Bulldogs wanted to head into the Christmas break. Here's hoping some much needed time off will do the players well and they'll come back recharged and ready to go. To the players, families, staff, volunteers and fans of the Bulldogs - I hope you have a fun, safe and family filled Christmas!


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