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Friday, January 15, 2016

Dogs and Caps play to wildly entertaining 3-3 tie

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

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A fantastic start to the game for the Bulldogs, as they went up 1-0 before the game was two minutes old as Troy Dobbs put an outlet pass up the right wing for Rhett Wilcox. He would one-touch it onto the tape of Liam Conrad, who drove down the right wing where he walked below the goal line and put a pass out against the grain and onto the tape of Cayden Kraus, who one-timed it home on his backhand inside the post far-side past Storm Phaneuf at 1:56 of the first. The Dogs didn't have long to enjoy the lead however, as just 25 seconds later the Capitals tied it up when Luke Santerno put a pass from behind the goal line to the slot for Jarid Domin, who one-timed it past the blocker of Brody Claeys to make it 1-1 at 2:21. The Dogs continued to push though, and built up an 11-6 lead in shots and missed on several glorious opportunities but they kept at it and took the lead back later in the period when Eric Margo cleared the puck at centre and hustled to steal it back. Quinn Syrydiuk did a good job to hustle as well to tag up a delayed off-side, allowing Margo to drive hard down the right wing at the net. He would then slide a perfect cross-crease pass onto the tape of Syrydiuk, that he tapped home to make it 2-1. Chris Schutz also drew an assist on the play at 14:04 of the first. Almost immediately afterwards the Bulldogs ended up in big time penalty trouble as they were whistled for two infractions in 28 seconds, putting the Capitals to a 5 on 3 advantage for 1:32 in duration. A couple solid saves by Claeys, and a fantastic effort by Adam Donnelly to chase into the Capitals zone to steal the puck and fight against four Caps to kill an additional 10-15 seconds saw the Bulldogs kill it off. The Capitals had a goal waved off due to a high-stick on the 5 on 3. From my view I didn't think the Capital's stick was above the crossbar. On the following puck drop another goal was waved off, but this one certainly should not have counted as Claeys went post-to-post to push off to make a save on a cross-ice pass and the net mooring gave way behind him. Another penalty late in the period was killed off as the Dogs led 2-1 after 20 minutes with shots even at 12 aside.

The score stayed 2-1 through the midway point of the second, with each team having their opportunities but both goalies standing tall when called upon. Just a minute later the Capitals found the equalizer when Sam Jones kept the puck in at the right point and fired a quick shot at the net where it was deflected home from between the hash marks by Corey Hoffman to make it 2-2 at 12:20 of the second. The Dogs would get back to back power plays late in the period and they came painfully close to getting the go ahead marker, but Quinn Syrydiuk's one-timer from the slot hit the bar behind Phaneuf and it stayed 2-2 after 40 minutes. The Dogs out shot the Caps 13-7 in the period for a 40 minute advantage of 25-19.

The Dogs played like a team posessed through the first six minutes of the third, opening up an 8-0 lead in shots but being unable to convert on several open nets in tight, as Chris Sarault had his stick checked forcing an open net bid wide, and Storm Phaneuf then made a fantastic highlight reel save in tight on Eric Margo after giving up a bad rebound. Off the following draw the Bulldogs connected to take a 3-2 lead as Marshall Skapski made a pretty move to make a defender miss before putting a quick shot on net that was stopped by Phaneuf, but a big rebound came out that was hammered home top corner, high blocker by Nathan Dingmann at 6:49 of the third. Assists on the play went to Adam Donnelly and Ryan Finnegan but I think Skapski certainly deserved one. The Dogs kept up the pressure, but the Caps scored against the flow of play on their first shot of the period as a centering pass was found out front by Kade Kehoe who one-timed it home far-side past Claeys with Josh Adkins drawing the only assist at 11:57 of the third. The teams would trade chances throughout the remainder of the third with both goalies playing strong, and Claeys notably coming up with four or five in tight one-timer saves to force overtime. Shots in the third favoured the Bulldogs 13-8 for a 60 minute total of 38-27. That number was certainly off, as shots appeared to stop going up for a while.

Neither team found the net through the 10 minutes, but it was BCHL hockey at it's finest with end-to-end hockey seeing a bunch of chances. Chris Schutz would be stopped on a penalty shot by Storm Phaneuf early in OT, with then Garrett Halls and Eric Margo failing to connect on breakaways and wide-open chances from the slot that were either stopped by Phaneuf or just missed with Margo hitting the post on an earlier breakaway down the right wing. The Caps would have a good chance on a 2 on 1 rush only to have Marshall Skapski break it up with a quick stick as the horn sounded with neither team was able to find the net. The fireworks didn't end there though, as Ryan Burton appeared to go after Nathan Dingmann and give him a couple shots when he was down on all fours, drawing Brody Claeys in to defend him. That would make Storm Phaneuf cross centre ice - that's a big no-no so it will be interesting to see if anything further comes from it. Kade Kehoe would then draw the ire of the Bulldogs for making a quick exit to the Capitals tunnel with a Bulldog stick. Adam Donnelly was aware of it and pursued him, with the Officials intervening to stop anything ugly from breaking out. While that stick would end up in two pieces, credit to the Capitals as once the dust settled their Trainer sought out Damon Pugerude to give him a replacement.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 42-31, however Dan Tisserand had the Bulldogs with 54 shots by his count. The Bulldogs went 0 for 3 on the power play while the Capitals went 0 for 4 with Brody Claeys and Storm Phaneuf being the goalies of record.

A fantastic effort by the Bulldogs, a disheartening single point in the end, but they can certainly feel confident with how they played against a good team in a tough place to play. One of the more exciting games I can remember calling in recent memory - BCHL hockey at it's finest without question. Should be a heck of a tilt tomorrow when these teams meet again at the Dog Pound.


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