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Great pace from the opening puck drop in this contest, with no whistles through the first two minutes. There wasn't much in the way of high quality scoring chances, but great end to end pace. That pace would soon disappear, when a delayed penalty at the Victoria net ended up in an after the whistle scrum. The Dogs would get a four minute power play. Before the puck was dropped, Tyler Welsh would put an arm around Auggie Moore and haul him down but he would not be penalized. Following the puck drop, Moore would lean on Welsh, and Welsh would go down very easy but wouldn't be whistled for diving while Moore was called for interference as the Dogs four minute power play was immediately cancelled out and all the flow went out of the game for the next five minutes or so. The Grizzlies would open the scoring with just under seven minutes to go in the first on a broken play at the Bulldog line as an initial back check stole he puck, but only for a split second as Jamie Rome stole it off a Dog stick and walked into the deep slot where he snapped a wrist shot top corner, short-side over the blocker of Carson Schamerhorn to make it 1-0, unassisted at 13:14 of the first. Less than two minutes later it was 2-0 Grizzlies, just seconds after Carson Schamerhorn came up with a breakaway save on Keyvan Mokhtari as Tyler Welsh also skated in on a breakaway where he appeared to lose the handle on the puck, but have it slide through Schamerhorn. The goal was also unassisted at 15:11 of the first. The Grizzlies out shot the Dogs 11-7 in the first.
The Bulldogs started the second period on the power play, and while they failed to connect on it, they did find the net one second after the penalty elapsed after an initial great chance missed the net. Tristan Bukovec would throw it cross-crease, where Trevor Cosgrove had a chance stopped by Matt Galajda. The rebound was found and jammed home by Jake Witkowski from the paint to make it a 2-1 game 39 seconds into the period. They would be unable to build on it though, as the Grizzlies pushed back to re-establish the two-goal lead as Carson Schamerhorn made two good saves on a deflection and a rebound, only to have the puck go right back to the line where it was again just simply put at the net. It would hit traffic in the slot and drop, where Cole Pickup found it and fired it home to make it 3-1 at 3:55 of the second, with assists going to Cody Van Leirop and Nathan Looysen. The Bulldogs would earn a series of power plays throughout the period, but they couldn't connect to get back into it, and for the most part they didn't generate many good chances or momentum off of their opportunities as they didn't move the puck well, and the Grizzlies did a good job of pressuring the puck. Matt Galajda would make two good saves late in the period, first on a backdoor set up by Jordan Sandhu to Henry Marshall, and then Ryan Finnegan immediately afterwards on a follow up rebound. The Grizzlies would go up 4-1 late in the period on another breakaway, that was created when all four Officials somehow missed Nathan Looysen knocking down a puck with a head-high stick at centre ice. It would then be found by Nolan Welsh, who sent Cory Hatcher in alone where he put a perfect shot top corner, glove side high on Schamerhorn. Welsh drew the only assist on the play at 18:44 of the second. Shots were even in the period at eight aside, with the Grizzlies holding a 19-15 advantage.
The Bulldogs would put on an inspired push to start the period, but quickly ended up in the penalty box. The Grizzlies would make them pay immediately on it as Dayne Finnson walked into a pass to the right point and blew a lazer past the glove of Brody Claeys, who entered the game to start the period. Assists went to Tyler Welsh and Cole Pickup at 2:30 of the third. The Bulldogs would answer on the power play three minutes later to make it 5-2 as Trevor Cosgrove found Connor Welsh at the top of the point. He would then flip a pass into Jake Witkowski in the left circle, where he muscled a shot on net that appeared to hit a Grizzlies defender before finding it's way past Galajda at 5:59 of the period. After having a very odd goal waved off when a Kyle Kaufmann dump in hit Linesman Brett Martin and went into the vacated net, the Dogs would gamble on a late-game power play and pull Brody Claeys with 4:09 to play to make it a 6 on 4 advantage. They would be rewarded and make it a two-goal game as Trevor Cosgrove found Jordan Sandhu at the bottom of the right circle. He would put a cross-crease onto the tape of Jake Witkowski. He wouldn't get much on his shot, but got enough of it to get it on net where it was misplayed by Galajda who appeared to just knock it over the goal line with his glove to make it 5-3 at 16:15 of the third. The Dogs would get a couple of looks after it, but couldn't connect to make it a two-goal game before the Grizzlies hit the empty net on a Jake Stevens slapper from his own end that had eyes and hit something before finding the empty net, dead centre. No assists were given on the play at 19:02 of the third, for the 6-3 final.
Third period shots favoured the Bulldogs 17-6, for a game total in the Dogs favour of 32-25. I had the Dogs at 2 for 11 on the power play, while the Grizzlies went 1 for 1. Carson Schamerhorn got tagged with the loss in net, while Matt Galajda picked up the win.
The Dogs are next in action Saturday night when they host the Vernon Vipers.