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A fairly energetic start to this contest, with good flow and no whistles over the first two minutes and change. That would change soon afterwards, with a series of penalties going both ways. The Bulldogs earned the first power play of the game, but with 13 seconds left in it took a bench minor for too-many-men on the ice. The Dogs would do a good job of killing that off, but unfortunately were penalized for four minutes after the initial whistle saw no penalty called. It did appear to be the right call, with a Linesman helping the Referees make it. The Dogs did a fantastic job killing the first 2:20 of the minor, but then took a tripping penalty behind the Chilliwack goal line to allow face a 5 on 3 power play of 1:40 in duration. It wouldn't end up being that long, with Tristan Bukovec drawing a penalty on an aggressive forecheck in the Chiefs end. It would remain a 4 on 3 advantage for the Chiefs though, and they connected on it when Jordan Kawaguchi set up Linden Hora in the right face off dot where he beat Brody Claeys with a quick release just inside the far post, low blocker side. Connor McCarthy also drew an assist on the play at 13:29 of the first. Shots favoured Chilliwack 9-5 in the first.
The Bulldogs had a power play to start the second, but didn't look very sharp on it. As the next few minutes wore on, it became apparent that the Chiefs were pushing and playing at a different level, as the Bulldogs were struggling to move the puck and find their game. It didn't take long for the Chiefs to capitalize on it, on a somewhat of a fortunate bounce as a shot from the left point hit the pant leg of Connor Welsh in front and then right onto the tape of Aaron O'Neill who finished it beautifully, top corner over the glove of Claeys. Olivier Arsenault and Kale Kane drew the assists at 4:34 of the second. The Chiefs would win the ensuing centre ice draw, and go D-to-D three times before making a stretch pass up the right wing. It was then thrown off the wall to the middle to Cole Poliziani who skated in on a breakaway from the slot where he again finished it with a perfect shot, top corner, glove side. Assists went to Colton McCarthy and David Jankowski at 4:47 of the first. The Dogs would stop the bleeding for a minute, and in fact had a great chance to make it a two-goal game when Tristan Bukovec found Ryan Finnegan wide open in front. Robert Jacobson would come up with a big save, and the Chiefs would come up ice and beat the Dogs to their own net as Jake Smith made a gorgeous play to enter the zone down the right wing before delaying by driving wide to the left side of the net before throwing a perfect cross-crease pass onto the tape of Aaron O'Neill, who tapped it in by beating his man to the net. Kale Kane also drew an assist on the play at 6:06 of the second, with the Dogs calling time out after the goal to try and right the ship. While they didn't allow any more of the remainder of the period, they would only show fleeting moments at best of threatening to get on the board. Shots favoured the Chiefs 12-7 in the period, for a 40 minute lead of 21-12.
The third period saw the Bulldogs put forth a more respectable effort, but through the first 14 minutes it still wasn't enough to get them back into the game. A notable scoring chance saw Alex MacDonald tripped up on a partial breakaway, only to show great resolve to stick with it and regain his footing to skate in on net only to see Jacobson to come up with a solid save to preserve the shut out. That would be as close as the Dogs would get, with the third period being largely uneventful.
Third period shots favoured the Dogs 9-3, for a game total favouring Chilliwack 24-21. It's the least shots taken, and conceded, by the Dogs this season. Brody Claeys took the loss, while Robert Jacobson picked up second star honours with the win and the shut out. I had the Dogs at 0 for 4 on the power play, with the Chiefs going 1 for 3.
There's not much time for the Dogs to dwell on this one, and perhaps that's a good thing. They conclude their Showcase appearance tomorrow afternoon at 3:00pm when they take on the Coquitlam Express.