Tonight's Game Report is brought to you courtesy of the Best Western Plus Barclay Hotel
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The Dogs found themselves down 1-0 before the game was a minute old, as a great chance walking down the slot in the Victoria end turned into a misplayed puck and a Grizzlies out let up the left wing was knocked down at centre ice by Cole Pickup, who was allowed to walk in tight to the left faceoff dot where he ripped a shot top corner, far-side high over the glove of Brody Claeys. Brett Sterling picked up the only assist at 56 seconds of the first. The Dogs would push back though, and tie the game after a series of icings by the Grizzlies. Ryan Steele would win a draw in the Victoria end to the left half wall, before going to find it himself. He would rim it back of the net to the right corner, where Henry Marshall chased it down and threw it to the slot onto the tape of Mackenzie Wight. Shawn Parkinson would make a good initial save, but Wight stuck with it to jam the rebound home inside the post short-side to tie it at 1-1 at 5:46 of the first. There would be no scoring the rest of the frame, with not much in the way of glorious chances created by either side. Shots were even at 8-8 after 20 minutes.
The Dogs got off to a fantastic start to the second period, taking a 2-1 lead just 14 seconds into the period as a Cameron Kuhl dump in from the red line was misplayed by Parkinson right out front and onto the tape of Henry Marshall who one-timed it into the vacated cage. The Dogs kept up the pressure, and connected on the power play before the period was five minutes old when Jordan Sandhu set up Jake Witkowski from the top of the point in the left circle. He would wait for a screen to develop before firing a quick release on net. It would be stopped by Parkinson, but the rebound one-hopped onto the stick of Trevor Cosrgove at the far post where he made no mistake in one-timing it home at 4:06 of the second. The Dogs had numerous chances throughout the period to build their lead, and finally did it in the latter stages on the man advantage as Connor Welsh put a shot on net from the right point that was tipped on goal by Trevor Cosgrove. Jake Stevens would attempt to clear it, but was stick-checked resulted in him inadvertenly playing it into his own net. Cosgrove would get credit for it, un-assisted at 13:17 of the second to make it 4-1. The Dogs would continue to push and had a handful of chances, but they were unable to widen their lead. The Grizzlies would earn a power play soon afterwards, and made it a 4-2 game when a shot was blocked in front, before being gloved down by a Bulldog forward, directly onto the stick of Nick Guiney in the hashmarks where he one-timed it upstairs in a hurry over the glove of Claeys. Again the goal was unassisted at 18:14 of the second. A minute later, the Dogs looked to re-take their three goal lead as Tristan Bukovec rang a shot from the slot off the post that stayed out. The Grizzlies would go up ice immediately and catch the Dogs too deep resulting in an odd-man rush that saw Nathan Looysen score a beautfil goal where he out-waited Claeys and tucked it inside the far post to make it 4-3 at 19:39 of the second with Drayson Pears drawing the only assist. Shots in the second favoured the Grizzlies 13-12, for a 40 minute advantage of 21-20.
The third period saw the Dogs come out with a good push, with the Grizzlies pushing back with either team having good scoring opportunities. The Dogs would hold their lead until the back half of the third, but the Grizzlies were rewarded for hemming the Dogs in their zone when a series of shots and crazy deflections finally seeing the puck bounce onto the tape of Lucas Clark who picked the top corner, short-side from the slot to make it a 4-4 game at 13:09 of the third, un-assisted. The Grizzlies would have a fantastic chance to net the go ahead goal in the final minute, but Brody Claeys came up with a huge save on Cole Pickup on the doorstep to force overtime. Third period shots were even at 12 aside for a 33-32 Victoria advantage after 60 minutes.
The first overtime saw the Dogs have a couple of initial looks around the net, followed by the Grizzlies having two Grade A chances to win it - Brody Claeys came up with a big save on a Cole Pickup breakaway appearing to just get his glove on it, followed by another huge stop on a T.J Friedmann tip in attempt. The Dogs would push late in the first overtime, but couldn't find the winner with Shawn Parkinson also coming up big as the game went to double OT. Chances were too numerous to count in double OT, with Brody Claeys coming up with a breakaway save on Nathan Looysen and another rediculous rebound stop with his left toe on another follow up attempt. The Bulldogs would then get a series of back-to-back chances on the rush that somehow failed to find the net, the most notable coming with less than 30 seconds to play and Shawn Parkinson somehow getting something on a Trevor Cosgrove chance set up by Cayden Kraus to keep the game tied to the final buzzer.
Overtime shots favoured the Dogs 12-7 for a game total of 44-40 Bulldogs with Brody Claeys and Shawn Parkinson being the goalies of record. The Dogs went 2 for 3 on the power play, while the Grizzlies went 1 for 2.
The Bulldogs are next in action January 4th when they host the Capitals at the Dog Pound.
Thanks as always for reading the blog - all the best to you and yours over the Holidays!
I'll post the Christmas specials here on the blog in the coming days if you missed them.