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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dogs and Vipers play to 1-1 tie

A spirited start to the game from both sides, with the Dogs having the first two shots on net, including a great look for Cayden Kraus on a turnover at the side of the Viper net. While he didn't get a lot on his opportunity, he still forced Ty Taylor to make a save. The Bulldogs were penalized soon afterwards, but looked solid on the kill and didn't give up a shot against. The Dogs continued to push the pace through the halfway point of the period. Through the back half of it, the Dogs generated a series of good chances - Jackson Doucet set up Keaton Mastrodonato wide open between the hashmarks, only to have Ty Taylor make a fantastic glove save. A minute later Christian Simeone was set up in the deep slot only to have Taylor deny him with his right toe. Another right toe save by Taylor a couple minutes later kept it a scoreless game. The Vipers would be awarded a power play with less than two minutes to play in the period, but the Dogs again didn't give up much as the buzzer sounded. Shots in the period were 9-5 Bulldogs.

The second period again saw the Bulldogs with a fantastic chance inside the first two minutes, with Ty Taylor stopping Cole Poliziani who had a step on a nice pass up the right side. The Vipers would mount a push over the next series of shifts, with John Hawthorne seeing a series of shots and standing tall to keep it scoreless. The Vipers would generate the best chance of the game not long afterwards when Jimmy Lambert snuck out the back door on the Vipers bench and behind the Dogs defence where he took a perfect stretch pass to skate in alone, only to have Hawthorne stare him down without flinching to keep it out with his blocker and pad to keep it scoreless. Just a minute and a half later it was a 1-0 Bulldogs lead, as they connected just nine seconds into a four minute power play when Cayden Kraus was cut by a high stick. The Dogs would win the opening draw, and gain possession. Sami Pharaon would send the puck across the line to Darren Rizzolo at the left point. He crept in and faked a shot before snapping a perfect pass to the back-door for Ryan Steele, who one-timed it into the open side to make it 1-0 at 8:52 of the second. Just two minutes later the Dogs would lose Ryan Steele for the game, and be down a man for five minutes when he was ejected for a hit from behind on Jimmy Lambert that drew blood. At first glance, I thought it was a bad hit. Upon viewing the replay, it seemed like a perfect storm of bad timing, as the instant Steele went to initiate contact, Lambert turned his back to him to receive a puck that was rimmed up the boards. The Dogs would kill off the penalty, with Hawthorne being good and his penalty killers doing a fantastic job. Later in the period Hawthorne came up with another breakaway save, on Lambert again, as he skated in alone and appeared to try the same move with Hawthorne again keeping it out. The Dogs took another penalty with less than a minute to go in the frame, but protected their lead to the buzzer. Shots in the period were 17-5 Vipers, and 22-14 in Vernon's favour after 40 minutes.

The Bulldogs killed off the penalty that carried over from the second, and yet another one again early in the third to protect the lead. The Vipers would get on the board just short of seven minutes into the period on one of the uglier goals I have seen - but hey, they ask how many, not how. John Hawthorne would get crossed up while playing the puck, and then tripped up by a Bulldog defender whilst trying to retreat to his crease. A crazy scramble would ensue that closely resembled a rugby scrum. It went on for what seemed like forever, before Jack Judson would finally emerge from the pile with it to deposit it into the open net to make it 1-1, un-assisted at 6:56 of the third. The Vipers pushed through the midway point of the period for the go ahead goal, but the Dogs didn't break. They started to push back in the back half of the period, and had a couple good scoring chances before earning a power play of their own with just over four minutes to play. They would threaten on it, but Ty Taylor was good to send the game to overtime. Third period shots were 16-11 Vipers for a 35-28 advantage.

The first overtime saw no scoring, with each goalie proving to be solid when tested. The Bulldogs would earn a power play off the double overtime faceoff, but couldn't generate more than a single shot on it as the Vipers killed it off. At the other end, Hawthorne was only tested once, as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Shots through overtime were 6-3 Vipers, for a game total of 44-28. John Hawthorne was named first star in earning the draw in net. I had the Dogs at 1 for 4 on the power play while the Vipers went 0 for 5.

The Bulldogs conclude their Showcase appearance when they take on the Penticton Vees for a 4:00pm puck drop tomorrow.


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