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Friday, December 09, 2016

Dogs drop 5-4 double OT thriller in Powell River

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 got off to a good start, aided by a power play opportunity just 14 seconds into the game. While they didn't score, they looked sharp on it and carried momentum out of it. Through the midway point of the first, the Dogs had considerable jump with some solid opportunities and a 7-2 edge in shots. The Kings would open the scoring against the flow of play though, with a D-to-D pass being one-timed high at the net from the left point from Callum Volpe. Tristan Mullin was planted inside the blue paint, where he deflected past Brody Claeys, who seemed somewhat impeded to make any save on it. Josh Coblenz also drew an assist on the play at 10:53 of the first. Before the celebration in the rink died down, the Dogs had one of their own, as they tied the game just 17 seconds later. Mackenzie Wight would hustle in on the forecheck to hit a King behind the goal line, before putting a crisp pass out front and onto the tape of Ryan Steele who one-timed it home five-hole on Brian Wilson at 11:10 of the first. The Kings would have a great chance to take the lead back later in the period, with Brody Claeys making a fantastic save on Cam Donaldson on a cross-ice pass on an odd man rush. The Dogs would continue to push in the Kings zone, but couldn't capitalize to take the lead. The Dogs would be penalized late in the period and did a fantastic job of killing the penalty for about 1:59 of it, but the Kings would score at the conclusion of it before Cayden Kraus could get back into the zone as Ben Berard knocked a puck down at the bottom of the right circle with his back to the net. He would hold it and stick handle before spinning and firing a backhand home that found the top corner on Claeys to make it 2-1 at 18:44 of the first, with assists going to Curtis McCarrick and Johan Steen. Shots in the period favoured the Bulldogs 10-7.

The Kings came out with a noticable jump to start the second, testing Claeys three times in the first minute. The Dogs would answer to tie the game shortly afterwards, with Mackenzie Wight gloving a puck down just outside the Kings line and attacking the zone up the middle before walking to the top of the right circle where he snapped one home top corner, short-side high on Wilson to make it 2-2 at 3:11 of the second. While the Dogs appeared initially energized by tying the game, they would end up in the penalty box less than two minutes later. They would kill it off successfully, but again ended up in the box a further three minutes later. They wouldn't be able to kill it off, as another deflection found it's way home as Liam Lawson took a drop pass from Jonny Evans at the top of the point and blasted a one-timer at the net that was tipped from the hashmarks by Tristan Mullin low through Claeys to make it 3-2 at 9:21 of the second. The Dogs would push later in the period, with their best chances perhaps coming again when they were killing a penalty as Mackenzie Wight had two good chances. Shots in the period favoured the Kings 16-11 for a two period total of 23-21 Kings.

The Bulldogs would tie the game just over four minutes into the third on a pretty power play set up, as Jake Witkowski crept into the top of the right circle and dished off down low to the right side of the net for Tristan Bukovec. He would then take a return pass and one-time it home top corner, short-side high on Wilson. Jordan Sandhu also drew an assist on the play at 4:17 of the third. The Dogs would be penalized seconds later, but got back to even strength when Darren Rizzolo was cut by a high stick. The Dogs would connect on the advantage to take a 4-3 lead as Keith Anderson made a key play to keep the play alive with a stick lift in the slot to get it back to the point to Darren Rizzolo. He would then take a pass from the right half wall at the right point before sliding it across the line for Jordan Sandhu, who blew a slap shot far-side past Brian Wilson to make it 4-3 at 7:33 of the third. Wilson would chase the Referee almost to centre ice after the goal, upset at what he thought was contact outside his crease from Tristan Bukovec. It might just be the side of the puck I saw it from - or that I was watching from a relatively poor vantage point - but it didn't look like the goalie was impeded from making the save, or certainly not to the point of what Brody Claeys dealt with on the first Kings goal. The Kings would push back as the Dogs got a bit tentative in their zone, and tie the game on another hard to describe deflection, as Jake Kohlhauser put a wrister somewhere towards the neighbourhood of the net from the left point that apparently deflected off a Bulldog and in to make it 4-4 at 14:46 of the third with Tristan Mullin drawing the only assist. Less than a minute later the Kings would have a glorious chance to win it, but Brody Claeys came up with not one but two highlight reel saves on a wide-open Ben Raffler. The Dogs would then come close to winning it themselves with Cam Donaldson hooking up Mackenzie Wight who was skating in alone on a nice set up by Cayden Kraus. The Dogs were unable to capitalize on the power play to end the third, with shots in the period favouring the Dogs 12-9 for a 60 minute advantage of 33-32.

The Dogs couldn't win the game on their power play to start the first OT, and then took a penalty of their own late in the first OT. The Kings would win it 44 seconds into double OT on yet another miraculous deflection as a Callum Volpe put a slapper towards the net from the right point that again hit a Bulldog out in the slot before finding the net for the 5-4 final with Jonny Evans drawing the only assist.

Final shots favoured Powell River 36-35 with Brody Claeys taking the loss while Brian Wilson picked up the win. The Dogs went 2 for 6 on the power play while the Kings went 2 for 7.

The teams meet again tomorrow in Powell River for a 5:00pm puck drop.


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