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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Valiant comeback comes up short, Dogs fall 4-3 to Kings

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

The BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel, the largest full facility hotel in Port Alberni, BC. When staying with us there is no need to give up conveniences you are used to. You can discover treasures to take home at the Alberni Harbour Quay, and then browse our onsite Cold Beer, Wine Store and liquor store or retreat to our Stamps Cafe or Pastimes Sports Bar and Grill to enjoy a snack or to watch the game on our big screen TV. Then, relax in our sauna or pool before settling in our luxurious accommodations to enjoy the vintage wine picked up earlier. That's when you will truly understand why the tranquil setting of our hotel has been called the perfect place to call home. If traveling on business, our Port Alberni Hotel boasts over 4500 square feet of meeting space in four rooms that are perfect for small conventions, banquets, parties, meetings and weddings. AV equipment and catering are also available.

The Bulldogs buzzed in the opening 60 seconds, pressing hard in the Kings zone to generate a chance or two. They would then be caught pressing, as a shot from the left point was blocked and then head-manned by Tristan Mullin for Cam Donaldson, who raced in on a clear-cut breakaway that he finished with a pretty backhand forehand deke to make it 1-0. Tristan Mullin drew the only assist at 1:13 of the first. The Dogs would take a penalty soon afterwards, and got to the final 20 seconds of killing it before being sent to the box again for slashing to end up down two men. The Kings wouldn't waste time on the 5 on 3 scoring just seconds into it on a cross-ice one-timer that was stopped by Brody Claeys, but the rebound was found and fired home by Kyle Betts. Curtis McCarrick and Callum Volpe drew the assists at 7:06 of the first. The Kings would remain on the power play for just under two minutes, and continued to press to build the lead with Brody Claeys making a handful of solid saves to keep it a two goal deficit. Shots favoured the Kings 17-9 after the first.

The Bulldogs again pressed hard to open the second, but in a replay of the first got caught seconds later in their own end and gave up a breakaway where Brody Claeys came up with a fantastic desperation save with his glove on Cam Donaldson. The Dogs earned a power play soon afterwards, and did everything but score as they threw seven shots on net and Brian Wilson was solid to keep it 2-0. The Dogs were penalized on a neutral zone trip near the midway point of the period, and it ended up in the back of their net on what might have been the fourth rebound as Brody Claeys kept consecutive chances out in the paint before it finally was jammed home by Johnny Evans with assists going to Callum Volpe and Tristan Mullin at 9:34 of the second on the power play. Despite the deficit, the Dogs fought back to get on the board on a power play of their own as Jordan Sandhu entered the zone and fought off two Kings to hold the line before Trevor Cosgrove threw it to the slot and onto the tape of a wide open Jake Witkowski who walked in and snapped a wrist shot home far-side past the blocker of Wilson at 16:16 of the second to make it 3-1 after two. Shots in the period favoured the Dogs 17-7 for a two period advantage in the Dogs favour of 26-24.

The Dogs once again started the third period well, earning an early power play chance. They came painfully close to connecting on it on a couple of occasions, the most notable being a Jordan Sandhu set up for Trevor Cosgrove at the backdoor that somehow stayed out despite an open net. Mere seconds later a great stretch pass by Liam Lawson found Ben Berard out of the penalty box and behind the Dogs defense. He would skate in alone and put a shot off the post, that then caromed off Claeys and in to make it 4-1. Johnny Evans also drew an assist at 2:49 of the third. Despite the deficit, the Dogs failed to quit, pushing hard to make it a two-goal game as they connected on the power play when Jake Witkowski found Trevor Cosgrove walking in down the left wing where he snapped one home top corner, short-side high on Wilson at 14:07 of the third to make it 4-2. The Dogs pressed over the next few minutes and had great pressure but couldn't find the net. After a Kings time out, the Dogs a minute later took a time out of their own with just over three minutes to play. They would gamble and pull their goalie to make it a 6 on 5 situation and it would pay off as a Tristan Bukovec centering pass from behind the goal line was found by Ryan Steele in the left side of the slot where he snapped it home short-side on Wilson to make it 4-3 with 2:46 remaining with Trevor Cosgrove also drawing an assist on the play. The Dogs would continue to push, but couldn't get the goalie out cleanly a minute later as they were whistled for too many men. Despite drawing a late penalty to be up a man with a goalie out, the Dogs ran out of time and the Kings made the lead stand.

Third period shots favoured the Dogs 12-6 for a game total in their favour 38-30. Brody Claeys took the loss while Brian Wilson earned seconds star honours with the win. The Dogs went 2 for 6 on the power play while the Kings went 2 for 5.

The Dogs are next in action tomorrow afternoon when they host the West Kelowna Warriors.

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