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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dogs drop fifth straight, 5-1 to Capitals

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A frantic start to the game for the Dogs, as they generated an extended goal mouth scramble just a minute into the game that somehow stayed out despite about four or five good looks in the paint. The Bulldogs would draw back to back penalties within the first five minutes, but as has been the prevailing theme, they couldn't buy a goal despite several good chances around the net. Shots through the midway point favoured the Bulldogs 12-1, but the game remained scoreless. The Capitals would take the lead in short order, on a turnover in the defensive zone that saw Alec Zawatsky poke the puck loose to Cory Hatcher, who slid it past the defence and onto the tape of Nick Wilson, who skated in alone on Brody Claeys from the hashmarks where he went top corner, long-side on a nice backhand over the shoulder of Claeys to make it 1-0 at 16:38 of the first. The Bulldogs didn't let the deficit deflate them, as they pushed right back on the next shift and again peppered Lane Michsiw, who stood tall, while the Dogs remained snake bitten, hitting a post on an open net on a rebound, and having every single bounce around the net somehow go anyway but over the line, as they trailed 1-0 after one, but led in the shots on goal department 18-3.

The second period started somewhat like the first, with the Dogs again having a couple good looks on net but being unable to bury a chance or get a bounce. As they continued to fight the puck, the Caps caught them pressing too hard to score, and created a 2 on 1 rush that they capitalized on as Rhett Kingston carried the puck over the line up the left wing and made a perfect cross-ice pass to Chris Harpur that he one-timed home short-side before Claeys could get over as it just beat him glove side to make it 2-0 at 6:09 of the second. The Dogs would earn a power play chance less than two minutes later, but couldn't capitalize on it, with Brody Claeys forced to come up with a big rebound save on Ayden MacDonald while shorthanded to keep it a two-goal game. Late in the frame, but Bulldogs FINALLY found a way to get the monkey off their backs, on a goal that was one of the bounces that has so repeatedly eluded them around the attacking net over their recent games. Mackenzie Wight would backcheck from the Caps zone all the way below the Bulldogs goal line to knock Chris Harpur off the puck. Trevor Cosgrove would chip it ahead up the right wing for Tristan Bukovec, who used great speed to beat the last man back and drive in on net where his backhand was stopped by Michasiw, but appeared to hit Jordan Sandhu in the paint and find the back of the net to make it a 2-1 game at 17:26 of the second. The goal snapped a shut out streak of an even 106:00 on home ice, and 131:37 overall. The elation was short-lived, as the Capitals restored the two goal lead just 1:02 later off a faceoff win in the Dogs end. Mackenzie Wight was interfered with as he tried to get to the point, allowing Ben Verrall to keep the puck in and feed it down the right wing. George Sennott would put a perfect pass onto the tape of Ty Pochipinksi, catching the Bulldogs on the wrong side of the puck, somewhat similar to the first goal, as he walked in alone on Claeys and picked the top corner, far-side over his glove to make it 3-1 at 17:28 of the second. Shots in the period were even at 11-11 for a Bulldog advantage of 29-14 after two.

The Bulldogs earned a power play early in the third, but despite four shots they couldn't cash in on it to make it a one-goal game. The Caps would do a good job to limit the chances against through the period, with the best Bulldog chance coming from Mackenzie Wight stopped three times point blank by Lane Michasiw to protect the lead. The Caps would push for further insurance late in the frame, with Brody Claeys coming up with a highlight reel save going post to post to rob Ayden MacDonald at the back post on a cross-ice set up. The Bulldogs would after a long spell get the puck out of their zone, but promptly turned it over at the attacking line. The Caps would come right back in and make it a 4-1 game, with MacDonald getting his own rebound after another huge in alone save by Claeys. The only assist on the play went to Nick Wilson at 13:42 of the third. The Capitals would complete the scoring less than a minute later on another turnover at the attacking line that resulted in Chris Harpur skating in on a partial breakaway down the left wing in tight where he went top corner, far-side over the glove of Claeys to make it 5-1, un-assisted at 14:17 of the third.

Third period shots favoured the Bulldogs 14-12, for a game total of 43-26 with Brody Claeys taking the loss while Lane Michasiw earned 1st star honours with the win. The Dogs went 0 for 4 on the power play, while the Capitals went 0 for 1.

With the loss, the Dogs have lost five in a row. They are 7 points back of the Nanaimo Clippers. The Bulldogs are next in action Friday night in Salmon Arm.


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