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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Dogs top Capitals 6-2 in Duncan

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.

After a 10 plus minute delay to the start of the game due to a malfunctioning score clock at the Island Savings Centre, the Bulldogs came out of the gate chomping at the bit, forcing back to back turn overs in the first minute of the game in the Caps end and getting two good scoring chances. They kept the pace up, and drew a penalty just four minutes into the game. They made no mistake on the power play, with an inspired effort seeing the Capitals unable to clear the zone for 53 seconds as the Dogs worked it around and retrieved several pucks. Jake Witkowski would walk up the right wing wall before feeding Connor Welsh at the right point. He would put a hard one-touch pass down low to Tristan Bukovec at the right side of the net, where after an initial failed bank in attempt he rotated out and up the right wing to the top of the right circle where he put a quick waist-high shot on net. Trevor Cosgrove would deflect it just enough to sneak it high, short-side past the glove of Lane Michasiw to make it 1-0 at 5:32 of the first, with the goal officially announced as unassisted. The Dogs had several chances to build their lead, mostly on odd-man rushes, but failed to hook up on them. Late in the period, after a good Capital push and too long spent in the defending zone, the Dogs were penalized. They started the kill with an immediate clear, followed by a great backcheck by Tristan Bukovec to intercept another pass at the Dogs line and send the Caps back. Cayden Kraus would just miss picking off a pass at the Caps line to set up a chance, and seconds later at the Capitals line again he would succeed and intercept a pass. As he walked over the Capitals line, he got into a puck battle with Michael Montambault. Kraus would win it, and throw Montambault to the ice, as Jake Witkowski followed the play and skated in on a breakaway that he converted with a five-hole deke to make it 2-0 at 17:43 of the first. The goal was again announced as un assisted, but Kraus certainly deserved one with a fantastic effort to set it up. Shots in the period favoured the Capitals 15-10.

The Bulldogs started the second the same way they stared the game, as they repeatedly attacked in the Caps zone, at times for extended periods. They would build their lead off a defensive zone faceoff, as Ryan Steele walked the puck out of the left corner, and flipped it to the line. Henry Marshall would poke it out, and the Caps defence got caught as Alex MacDonald raced in on a breakaway where he went top corner, far-side over the glove of Michasiw with a gorgeous finish to make it 3-0 at 4:30 of the second. The Dogs had the better of the play for a few minutes following the goal, but couldn't build their lead. The Caps would then be given three straight opportunities on the power play - for the most part on some fairly soft calls, but they couldn't get back into the game with the Bulldog penalty killers again being relentless on the forecheck to cause problems and create chances. The Caps would get on the board to make it a 3-1 game in the back half of the frame on an odd-man rush created by a couple of Bulldogs colliding away from the puck at the Caps line. Brody Claeys would make the initial save on a stop from the slot, and perhaps a second on the scramble that ensued, but it was finally poked over the line inside the far post by Ayden MacDonald to make it a 3-1 game at 13:52 of the second with the goal again being credited as un assisted. The Dogs were once again penalized on the following shift, and did a good job to kill it off against the momentum, with Claeys forced to make one good save with his right toe on a stuff in attempt by Ayden MacDonald off a rebound. Shots in the period favoured the Capitals 15-13 for a 40 minute total of 30-23.

The Capitals came out with a good push on the opening shift of the third, with Brody Claeys coming up with a couple of good saves. The Dogs pushed back, and finally drew a penalty that they would threaten on but fail to score. The Capitals drew a power play almost immediately afterwards, but it was the Bulldogs who built their lead while shorthanded, just 9 seconds into the penalty on an incredibly fast end-to-end rush out of their zone as Ryan Steele won the draw forward for Henry Marshall. He would fly out of the zone on the attack, with Steele catching the Caps watching and flying the zone to join in on the rush, Marshall would carry it over the line up the right wing and put a perfect pass to the net for Steele, who just got enough of it to slide it through Michasiw and over the line for the second Bulldog shorthanded goal of the game, and a 4-1 lead at 5:57 of the third. Credit needs to be given as well to the Referee, who somehow was able to keep up with the play that went end to end in less than 9 seconds, as he was perfectly positioned behind the net to see that it just went over the line. That goal would prove huge, as the Capitals would answer back in the dying seconds of the advantage as a centering pass was blocked but still ended up on the tape of Max Newton, who managed to slide one through the legs of Claeys to make it 4-2 at 7:39 of the third, with Mitch Skapski and Ayden MacDonald assisting. The Dogs would answer back quickly, as Tristan Bukovec used great speed to chase down a Trevor Cosgrove dump in and fight it behind the Caps net and out to the far side before centering to Jake Witkowski, who just managed to get it over the line off the glove of Michasiw to make it 5-2 at 10:22 of the third. Just three minutes later the Dogs completed the scoring when a Caps rim was tipped back to the right point by Keith Anderson onto the stick of Paul Savage. He would throw a wrister at the net that somehow found it's way past the glove of Michasiw at 13:26 for the 6-2 final. On the next shift, Savage would step up and drop the mitts with Haydn Hopkins, who was getting into it with Jake Witkowski to an impassioned response from the Bulldog bench and the travelling fans in the building.

Third period shots favoured the Capitals 8-7, for a game total of 38-30 with Brody Claeys earning 2nd star honours with the win while Lane Michasiw took the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 3 on the power play and scored twice while shorthanded, with the Capitals going 1 for 7.

With the win, the Dogs are now two back of the Nanaimo Clippers with a game in hand and they are five back of the Capitals for 3rd place, also with a game in hand on them.

The Bulldogs next see action Saturday when they host the Nanaimo Clippers.


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