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It wasn't the sharpest of starts for either side in the early minutes of today's game - perhaps the early start time might have played a factor. As the period wore on, the Bulldogs got noticeably better, playing at a higher tempo and moving the puck more accurately and efficiently. The Bulldogs came up with a critical penalty kill, with Carson Schamerhorn looking sharp and being supported by his penalty killers. Not long afterwards, the Dogs earned a power play, and didn't take long to connect on it as Henry Marshall found Auggie Moore in the slot. He made a nifty back-pass to the top of the point for Connor Welsh, who set up Alex MacDonald in the left circle. He took a couple of steps in and then snapped a shot under the glove of Reid Cooper to make it 1-0 at 16:07 of the first. Shots favoured the Dogs 14-9 after one.
The second period was played at a high tempo throughout, with each team having some high quality scoring chances but both goalies coming up big. Carson Schamerhorn made two good saves, notably on Jonathan Irving early in the period, and on Christian Bosa on a cross-ice pass late in the period to protect the lead through 40 minutes. Shots in the period favoured Coquitlam 15-12, with the Bulldogs holding a 26-24 advantage heading into the third.
The Bulldogs didn't give up much through the third, with Schamerhorn continuing to look sharp when they did as they killed off almost a full two minutes of a Coquitlam power play to start the period. The Bulldogs had several good containment shifts in the Express zone, along with a long 2 on 1 rush where Kyle Kaufmann was robbed in tight. The Dogs pushed, and were finally rewarded late in the game when Auggie Moore intercepted a pass at his own line, and then raced to the Express line where he made a good decision to dump the puck in deep. He would beat everyone to it, and put it out front for Ryan Finnegan, who made a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of Jake Witkowski in the paint where he hammered it home to make it 2-0 at 13:19 of the third. The Dogs would be penalized with just over five minutes to play, and again came up with a big kill due to good defense and a couple solid saves by Schamerhorn. Just seconds later the Express would make it a brand new game as Alex Ambrosio found a rebound in front of a Dominic Masellis shot. Cameron Bertsch also drew an assist at 16:36 of the third. The Dogs did a solid job until the final seconds of protecting their lead, but the Express created a great chance with the goalie out with less than 20 seconds to play. The Dogs failed to get the puck out at their line, and Owen Stout was set up for a backdoor one-timer that Schamerhorn read perfectly to go post-to-post to get his right toe on it to preserve the win as time expired.
Third period shots favoured Coquitlam 12-8, for a game total favouring the Express of 36-34. Carson Schamerhorn picked up 1st star honours with the win, while Reid Cooper took 2nd star honours with the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 2 on the power play, with the Express going 0 for 4.
The Dogs are next in action Wednesday night at home when they host the Victoria Grizzlies.