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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Dogs drop third straight, 5-3 to Grizzlies

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.

A terrible start for the Bulldogs, as they found themselves in a 1-0 hole before the game was half a minute old as the Grizzlies caught them with speed on transition through the neutral zone as Keyvan Mokhtari drove the net up the middle and snuck a backhand low, short-side under the pad of Brody Claeys. Assists on the play went to Nick Guiney and Justin Michaelian. The Dogs continued to chase the game, and paid for it as the Grizzlies went up 2-0 before the four minute mark as a series of pucks around the net were stopped or blocked before Lucas Clark settled it down in the left face off dot and rang a shot off the post short-side and in past the blocker of Claeys. Nathan Looysen drew the only assist at 3:42 of the first. That would do it for the scoring throughout the period, with the Dogs killing off two penalties and Brody Claeys keeping the Dogs in it despite being under siege for most of the opening 20 minutes, as the Bulldogs were out shot 18-6. Claeys would also stare down Nathan Looysen on a penalty shot in the back half of the period to keep it just 2-0.

The Grizzlies continued to push through the first couple of shifts of the second, but the Dogs started to tilt the ice to get back in it. Matt Galajda would made a great save on a wide-open Keaton Mastrodonato in the slot to protect the lead, and then made a 2 on 1 save on Ryan Steele after yet another Bulldog penalty kill kept them in the game. They would get on the board on a goal that closely resembled a rugby scrum, as Jake Witkowski threw a shot on net that was stopped by Galajda. Nicholas Rasovic would have a rebound bid stopped, as the puck sat on the goal line. Trevor Cosgrove would fight enough to get his stick on it to poke it over the line to make it a 2-1 game at 3:57 of the period. The Dogs would get their first power play of the game shortly afterwards, and then went to a 5 on 3 power play for 35 seconds. They would cash in on it the second it was up, as Jake Witkowski put a pass from the left wing wall to the top of the slot for Trevor Cosgrove. He would put a perfect back-door pass onto the tape of Connor Welsh, who scored on a top corner, short-side high one timer to tie it at 2-2 at 9:45 of the second. The Grizzlies would take the lead back less than two minutes later on the rush, on a head-man pass by Tyler Welsh to Cameron Thompson up the left wing. He would gain the line and put a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of Carter Berger, who put a beautiful top corner, far-side high shot past the blocker of Claeys for his first career goal and a 3-2 Grizzlies lead at 11:31 of the second. It was the Dogs turn to answer quickly this time, as Nicholas Rasovic took a Jake Witkowski at centre and accelerated over the Grizzlies line up the right wing. He would drive the net, put the puck through a defender's legs and get it back before putting a perfect top corner, short-side backhand home to make it 3-3 at 12:36 of the second. The Dogs couldn't build on the momentum, and gave the Grizzlies the lead back as they coughed the puck up in their zone, as Cole Pickup stole it and centered it out of the right corner. It would miss the intended recipient in the slot, but end up on the stick of Carter Berger who walked in and went top corner again, far-side over the glove of Claeys to make it 4-3 at 15:34 of the period. Shots in the period were 14-8 Bulldogs, for a 26-20 Grizzlies lead after 40 minutes.

The third period saw the Grizzlies have the extra jump in their step as the Dogs fought the puck through the first 10 minutes. Brody Claeys would come up with a huge breakaway save with his right pad on a in-alone Nick Guiney near the midway point of the period to keep the Dogs down by just one. The Grizzlies continued to not give the Dogs much through the late stages of the third, with Matt Galajda not tested often but coming up with a big save on Henry Marshall at the side of the net after giving up a rebound on a good set up by Cayden Kraus. The Dogs would pull their goalie for the extra attacker with a draw in the Victoria end with 1:20 to go, and generated one good chance on a pass to the hash marks for a wide open Jordan Sandhu from behind the goal line, but it just bounced off his stick. Keyvan Mokhtari would seal the deal late, stealing the puck from Trevor Cosgrove at centre and hitting the empty cage to make it a 5-3 final.

Third period shots favoured the Grizzlies 10-6, for a game total of 36-26 with Brody Claeys taking the loss while Matt Galajda earned the win. The Dogs went 1 for 2 on the power play while the Grizzlies went 0 for 3.

The Dogs are next in action Friday at home when they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals.


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