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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kings snap Dogs streak at two with 5-3 win

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A breakneck pace from the opening puck drop in this contest, with the Kings with the edge in chances but the Dogs also having a couple pucks on net though the first three minutes. The Dogs would push back and take an edge in shots and chances themselves, and it almost immediately led to a 1-0 lead as Henry Marshall tied the puck up down low in the Kings zone and found Ryan Steele on the right wing. He would get it back to the right point for Trevor Cosgrove, who showed great vision by driving down the right wing and all the way to the net in tight where he put a perfectly placed backhand top shelf, short-side high over the glove of Wilson to make it 1-0 at 6:33 of the first. The Dogs continued to push, but Wilson kept it a 1-0 game until the midway point of the period. The Kings would score off a defensive zone face off when two Bulldog defenders stepped up at both the attacking and defending blue line resulting in an odd-man rush worked to perfection by the Kings with Kyle Betts finishing a cross-ice pass high over a diving Brody Claeys to make it 1-1 with Tristan Mullin and Carter Turnbull assisting at 10:30 of the first. The goal would go to the Kings legs, as they pushed hard over the next couple of minutes and had a handful of good chances to get the go-ahead goal, but Brody Claeys was solid to keep it tied. The Dogs would work an odd-man rush of their own to perfection soon afterwards, as Keith Anderson sent Jordan Sandhu up the left wing. He put a perfect pass onto the tape of a streaking Trevor Cosgrove who skated in alone on Wilson, who made a big initial save and a rebound stop as well to keep it tied at 1-1 through 20 minutes, with the shots in the Kings favour 15-14 after the first.  

The second period didn't have the same pace in the early moments of it, but the Dogs earned  power play opportunity two minutes into it. They would fail to generate anything on it, with the Kings killing it efficiently and taking momentum from it. They would make it a 2-1 game a minute later on the rush, as Ben Berard carried the puck up the left wing and dropped it for Jonny Evans. He would walk into the top of the left circle and put a perfect shot short-side high over the shoulder of Claeys. Matt Cairns also drew an assist on it at 4:11 of the second. The Dogs drew another power play short of the midway point of the period, and despite looking better on it they couldn't cash in on it to tie the game. They would have another pending power play on a delayed penalty soon afterwards with Jack Long taking the initial penalty for cross-checking Ryan Steele. After the whistle, he would chase down Steele at centre ice and give him a shot in the back. Steele would take another shove before turn around and returning a shot at Long. That would result in a penalty to Steele, while Long got nothing for chasing him down, evening up the calls and taking the pending power play away. While Long didn't do anything malicious in going after him, Steele didn't do anything in response either. It's hard for me to agree with it somehow being evened up, but I guess the old adage goes that you can't put the Referee in a position to make a call against you, how ineptly discretionary it may be. The Kings would of course earn a power play less than a minute later, and would connect on it to drastically change the game, as Johan Steen scored on a knuckling one-timer from the right point over the shoulder of Claeys to make it 3-1, with assists going to Jonny Evans and Carmine Buono at 12:10 of the second. The Dogs would be penalized three times before the period was out, but came up with a series of kills to keep it a two-goal game after two. Shots in the period favoured Powell River 11-9 for a two period advantage of 26-23.

The Dogs killed off another carry over penalty to start the third period, and a minute later made it a one-goal game with Trevor Cosgrove picking off an errant pass at the Kings line and feeding a cross-ice pass to the top of the left circle for Keith Anderson. He would catch it and beat Wilson low, far-side inside the post to make it a 3-2 game at 2:56 of the third. The Dogs would continue to push, and tied the game with 10 minutes to play on a great effort by Ryan Steele to get in on the forecheck and steal the puck from Carmine Buono. He would set up Mackenzie Wight in the slot, who fought off a man after accepting the pass on his backhand to spin and fire a shot on net from the slot. Wilson would make the save on it, but kicked out a rebound off his glove that Ryan Steele found at the side of the net to poke it over the line to make it 3-3 at 10:25 of the third. It wouldn't be tied for long though, as the Kings made the Dogs pay for icing the puck, as they were unable to change and get the puck deep, and then out of their zone before it was found by Hunter Findlater who walked into the right circle and scored with a perfect top corner short-side high wrister over the blocker of Claeys. Assists on the play went to Gavin Rauser and Jack Long at 13:19. The Dogs would get caught pressing to tie the game three minutes later, and the Kings got all the insurance they needed as Josh Coblenz made a beautiful cross-ice pass to the middle for Gavin Rauser, who fought off a valiant back check by Henry Marshall to roof a backhand on a deke past Claeys to make it 5-3 with 3:20 to play. The Dogs refused to quit, and pushed hard in the final two minutes and change, but couldn't get the next one to make a game of it again as the Kings made the lead stand.

Third period shots favoured the Kings 14-11 for a game total of 40-34 with Brody Claeys and Brian Wilson being the goalies of record. The Dogs went 0 for 2 on the power play while the Kings went 1 for 4.

With the win the Kings stretch their streak to four while snapping the Dogs winning streak at two and unbeaten streak at three. The Dogs are next in action Friday night when they kick off a three-in-three weekend by visiting the Wild in Wenatchee, Washington.


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