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Friday, February 24, 2017

Valiant effort comes up short as Dogs drop ninth straight 2-1 to Capitals

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The Bulldogs generated the first great scoring chance of the game just 90 seconds in, with Alex MacDonald setting up Cayden Kraus for a one-timer between the hashmarks, but Lane Michasiw made a solid blocker save. The Bulldogs would be penalized on a faceoff seconds later, and the Capitals connected on the advantage just five seconds into it on a set up to the hashmarks for Mitch Skapski, who snapped one home high, far-side past the glove of Schamerhorn to make it 1-0 at 1:59 of the first with Max Newton and Ayden MacDonald drawing the assists. The Dogs were penalized again just seven minutes into the game, but this time came up with a solid kill with Carson Schamerhorn making a couple good saves in tight to keep it a one-goal game. It didn't stay that way for long though, as the Caps took a 2-0 lead on a tough luck play in the Dogs end that saw a puck bounce through no less than three Bulldogs before being found by Michael Montambault in the slot. He threw a cross-ice pass to John Sladic on the goal line, where he managed to bank one off of Schamerhorn and in. Chris Harpur also drew an assist on the play at 11:50 of the first. The Bulldogs response to the hole they found themselves in was quite admirable, as they didn't sag but did just the opposite, pushing right back and generating a couple good chances before earning a power play opportunity. They couldn't buy a goal on it, but had a handful of good looks and lots of pressure. The closest they came was when Ryan Steele deflected a Tristan Bukovec set up from the point off the crossbar. Shots in the period favoured the Bulldogs 17-10.

The second didn't start well for the Bulldogs, but they bent and didn't break and pushed back to break both a shut out streak, and a long power play drought as Jake Witkowski won the draw right back onto the tape of Trevor Cosgrove, who snapped a perfectly placed shot top corner, short-side over the blocker of Lane Michasiw to make it 2-1 at 5:40 of the second, just three seconds into the power play. There would be no scoring throughout the remainder of the period, but not for a lack of chances for either side. The best for the Bulldogs was later in the period on the power play, as Lane Michasiw made a great rink-wide pad save on a Tristan Bukovec one-timer chance, and a follow up rebound save. Carson Schamerhorn was also sharp at the other end, coming up with a big left toe save on Michael Montambault in tight to keep it a one-goal game. A nasty incident (seems to be a prevailing theme when these teams meet, doesn't it?) as Sean Driscoll took exception to a Nicholas Rasovic hit and went at him with a high stick. Rasovic shoved back, and both players immediately dropped their gloves. Rasovic would instantly lose his footing and fall on his back, and Driscoll proceeded to throw no less than 8 punches at him while he was defenseless and the Linesman weren't yet on the scene. I can't say how much I detest the lack of class or respect shown by a player that takes advantage of a defenseless opponent in the fashion that Driscoll did, or any player does. Maybe I'm just from a different era? Shots in the period favoured the Capitals 12-8, with the Dogs up 25-22 after two periods.

The third period was played at a crisp pace from the puck drop, with the Dogs showing considerable jump to their step and generating good chances and extended attacking zone time in attempting to find the equalizer. They came close early in the period, but Trevor Cosgrove had his shot hit the post and stay out. The teams would have their chances throughout the frame, with both goalies coming up big, with Carson Schamerhorn making at least four saves in quick succession in the latter stages of the game from point blank range, after getting some help on a great back check earlier by Paul Savage to maybe save a goal on a wrap around chance for Ayden MacDonald. The Dogs would fight to the dying seconds, and had a great look on a shot and a rebound at the side of the goal with the goalie out for the extra attacker, but the elusive bounce again wasn't there as the Capitals made the lead stand to the final buzzer for the 2-1 final.

Shots in the third favoured the Bulldogs 13-12 for a game total of 38-34 Bulldogs with Carson Schamerhorn taking the loss in net while Lane Michasiw picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 4 on the power play while the Capitals went 1 for 3.

With the loss, the Dogs have lost nine in a row. They try to end their season on a high note tomorrow when they host the Powell River Kings.


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