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A fantastic start for the Bulldogs, as they pushed the pace early, and drew an early power play chance. While they failed to connect on it, they generated five shots and good momentum. They continued to carry the play, but Reid Cooper was solid in the Express net to keep it 0-0 through the midway mark of the first, with the Dogs up 9-2 in shots. As good as the Dogs were in the first 10 minutes, the Express matched them in the final 10 minutes of the period and pushed back and got their feet under them. Neither team would find the net through the first, with the Dogs holding a 12-11 advantage in shots.
The second period saw the Dogs to to an early power play, and they would connect on it to open the scoring as Auggie Moore picked up the puck behind the net from Ryan Steele, and set up Henry Marshall at the right side of the net. He would put a quick shot on goal that Reid Cooper stopped, but he couldn't control the rebound as Marshall continued to wack at it to poke it home five-hole and make it 1-0 at 3:32 of the second. The Dogs would go to the power play again soon afterwards, on the third call of the game against Coquitlam for slashing the hands out of an opponents stick. The Express were visibly upset with the call, and vociferously protested it. It might have been enough to earn a call or two or more, as at the end of the Bulldog power play Trevor Cosgrove was in front of the Express net on a loose puck. He didn't appear to hack the goalie, before being jumped and seriously mauled by Cal Walker. The extra two minutes would to to Cosgrove when the dust settled though. Soon after, the Express would end up on a 5 on 3 advantage of 1:25 in duration. Very early in that advantage Brody Claeys would stop a shot and cover it with his pad. An Express forward would slash at his knees to dislodge it, but a slashing call wouldn't be made the other way, despite Claeys showing his displeasure. Seconds later the Express would tie it up at David Guinta walked into the deep slot and snapped a shot top corner over the glove of Claeys, with assists going to Jordan Schulting and Owen Stout at 8:32 of the second. The Express would strike again to take a 2-1 lead five minutes later when they appeared to catch the Dogs defence changing as Jake Brien knocked down a dump in and then put a perfect stretch pass onto the tape of Alex Ambrosio for a breakaway. He would connect on it with a perfect low blocker side snap shot at 13:29 of the period. The Dogs responded well to trailing, with a good push back shift and some good chances, but they couldn't get the equalizer before the period elapsed. Shots in that period favoured the Dogs 17-10 for a two period advantage of 29-21.
The Bulldogs put on a good push as the third period wore on, but still trailed through the midway point as Reid Cooper was solid in net when called upon. The Dogs would generate a couple solid scoring chances through the remainder of regulation, but in the end not enough to get the equalizer as the Express made the lead stand until the buzzer for the 2-1 final.
Shots in the third period favoured the Bulldogs 7-4, for a game total in the Bulldogs favour of 36-25. Brody Claeys took the loss while earning third star honours, while Reid Cooper picked up 1st star honours with the win. The Dogs went 1 for 4 on the power play while the Express went 1 for 3.
The Dogs are next in action Friday at home when they host the Powell River Kings.