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Friday, September 15, 2017

Dogs drop second straight, 4-2 to Grizzlies

After the fog lifted and the lights came on, the action was quick from the opening puck drop with no whistles through the first 1:44 of play. The Dogs would be penalized soon afterwards on an odd call, at least in my opinion at their blue line on what looked like a clean check. They would kill the Victoria advantage off, and then get on the offence to open the scoring on the rush as Connor Welsh put a hard pass to centre ice up the right wing for Michael Sacco. He would use speed to gain the attacking line, and then show good patience to keep possession as he gained the attacking line to get traffic to the net, before putting the puck there where Brandon Bergado found it off a defender's stick and scored off a spin around backhand through the legs of Zachary Rose to make it 1-0 at 8:36 of the first. The Grizzlies would get the equalizer on a neutral zone turnover seven minutes later, with a defenceman stuck at centre, and the other one on the wrong side of the zone which resulted in a breakaway for Alex Newhook. He would drive the net and make the back checking defenceman miss, and then put a wrist shot on net that Colten Lancaster got a good chunk of it with his glove, but not enough of it as it bounced in over the line to make it 1-1, un-assisted at 15:43 of the first. The Grizzlies would push for the go-ahead marker in the following minutes, but the Dogs pushed back and had a fantastic chance in the late stages of the period as Christian Simeone and Ryan Steele set up Cole Poliziani at the side of the net in alone, but Rose came up with a desperation glove save to keep it 1-1 after one, with the Grizzlies out shooting the Dogs 14-10.

The Grizzlies began the second with a solid push, hemming the Dogs in their zone. They couldn't find the net though, as Lancaster was solid. Just two minutes later it was a 2-1 game on a play that I thought was icing but was waved off. Justin Michaelian would carry the puck down the left wing and behind the Dogs net before catching Lancaster getting cross-crease too slowly by tucking a wrap around inside the post at 3:09 of the second with Jordan Guiney drawing the only assist. Just nine seconds later it was a 3-1 game as Jamie Rome knocked a loose puck down with his glove at centre ice and raced into the attacking zone and made everyone miss before sliding it in through the legs of Lancaster at 3:20 of the second with Lucas Clark drawing the only assist. Despite the gut punch, the Dogs quickly responded to push back in an attempt to trim the gap, creating more than a couple great looks around the net. Zachary Rose would make a fantastic save to protect the lead, diving post to post to get his paddle down to stop a Simeone stuff in attempt off an end-board bounce. The score stayed 3-1 through the rest of the period until the final seconds of the frame, when the Dogs turned it over just outside their blue line and the Grizzlies attacking on the rush as Cameron Thompson did a good job to dig it loose for a streaking Jamie Rome who raced in alone again untouched where he put a perfect shot top corner, short-side under the bar and over the glove of Lancaster to make it 4-1 at 19:39 of the second. Shots in the period favoured the Dogs 19-14 for a two-period total in their favour of 29-28.

The third period began with the Dogs initially having an inspired push to get back into it, but the Grizzlies didn't bend as they protected the lead. The Dogs would take a couple penalties that hurt their comeback chances, but they would kill them off to keep in it with Colten Lancaster being good when called upon. Despite the hole, the Dogs continued to try to make a game of it and finally succeeded with an extra two minutes going to the Grizzlies well after the fact. The Dogs would connect on it on a cross-ice D-to-D pass that saw Tyson Slater one-time a low shot on net that was deflected past Rose by Christian Simeone to make it 4-2 at 17:59. The Dogs would get their goalie out and threaten over the remainder of regulation, but couldn't get one to go to make it a one goal game as the Grizzlies made the lead stand.

Shots in the third were even at 10 aside, for a game total of 39-38 Bulldogs with Colten Lancaster taking the loss in net while Zachary Rose picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 2 on the power play while the Grizzlies went 0 for 5.

The Dogs are next in action tomorrow night when they host the Coquitlam Express.


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