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Sunday, December 04, 2016

Dogs top Eagles 5-1, take six out of eight points on road

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.

It was once again a good start for the Bulldogs, and they were finally rewarded for it by finding the net first as Jake Witkowski fed the puck back to the right point to Trevor Cosgrove. He would then take a return pass below the goal line at the right side, where he threw a sharp angle shot at the net that caromed off the foot of Michael Botiz and over the line. No assist was given on the play, but Cosgrove certainly deserved one. The Eagles would be awarded a power play shortly afterwards, but the Dogs killed it with a series of good shot blocks, good saves by Claeys, and a near miss by the Eagles as a shot in tight hit the bar and stayed out. The Dogs went to the power play later in the period and wasted no time in connecting on it as it took just nine seconds off the clock, with Jordan Sandhu setting up Tristan Bukovec below the goal line at the left side of the net. He would put a perfect pass into the left faceoff dot for Jake Witkowski, who fired a quick wrist shot off the glove of Botiz and in, short-side to make it 2-0 at 11:31 of the period. The Dogs earned another power play in the late stages of the period after several near misses to build their lead. They would connect again on it, as Trevor Cosgrove made a key play to win a battle to steal the puck back from Paul McAvoy who appeared to be leaving the zone. Cosgrove would feed it below the goal line at the right side of the net, who again put a perfect pass onto the tape of Jake Witkowski in the right circle where he one-timed a shot home through the legs of Botiz to complete the natural hat trick to make it 3-0 at 17:55 of the first for a 3-0 Dogs lead after one. The Dogs out shot the Eagles 11-10 in the period.

The Dogs got off to a good start to open the second, hemming the Eagles in their zone off the opening puck drop. They could get caught pushing though, and gave up a 3 on 2 rush that saw Brody Claeys come up with a big blocker save on Mike Sauer. Seconds later, it was a 4-0 game as Trevor Cosgrove put a beautful stretch pass up the right wing for Mackenzie Wight. Cosgrove would then fly up ice and join the rush and beat the Eagles to the net, where Wight put a perfect cross-crease pass right onto his tape to one-time home inside the far post on Keelan Williams, who had entered the game to start the second. Henry Marshall was given the only assist on the play, but it should have been just Wight, at 1:13 of the second. Two minutes later, while on the power play, the Dogs drew another penalty. They would backtrack and regroup twice in their zone with a delayed penalty. As I was saying they should consider giving the puck away to keep a longer 5 on 3 opportunity, I then second guessed myself and said something along the lines of "they're probably going to score now anyway to prove me wrong" Score they did, as Trevor Cosgrove worked the puck from the right half-wall back to the top of the point to Connor Welsh. He would make a heads up play and put a perfect feed just off the side of the net for Tristan Bukovec, who deflected a backhand home through Williams to make it 5-0 at 3:45 of the second. There would be no scoring throughout the remainder of the period, with Brody Claeys being solid when called upon, and the Dogs having several near misses around the net. Shots in the period were even at 9 aside, for a 20-19 Bulldog advantage after 40 minutes.

The Dogs showed no slow up to start the third, immediately attacking the Eagles zone on a carry over power play. They kept the pressure up through the next couple of minutes to earn another power play. They would appear to score on it, with Gary Dhaliwal roofing a rebound at the far side, but it was waved off as Keelan Williams had dislodged the net in attempting to kick off and go post to post. Seconds later, the Eagles would appear to score on a rebound in tight, but the goal was also waved off after a discussion due to net being dislodged. The Eagles would break the shut out to make it 5-1 a minute and change later as Ashton Calder walked across the crease and tucked a centering pass inside the post and into the crease. It would bang around off a series of sticks and legs before finding the back of the net. Darius Davidson got credit for it, with assists to Nick Fea and Ashton Calder at 10:26 of the third to make it 5-1. The Bulldogs would earn a couple of power play opportunities in the late stages of the third, but didn't generate much on them as fatigue might have gotten the best of them as they had trouble with the puck in their zone forcing Bordy Claeys to make a couple of good saves to protect the lead for the 5-1 final score.

Shots favoured the Eagles 30-27, with Brody Claeys earning second star honours while picking up the win, while Michael Botiz took the loss. The Dogs went 3 for 8 on the power play while the Eagles went 0 for 3.

The Bulldogs are next in action Friday night in Powell River.


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