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Saturday, October 07, 2017

Bulldogs drop second straight 6-2 to Smoke Eaters

The first couple of minutes were played at a high pace, with each team getting a puck on net. A nasty knee on knee hit on Michael Sacco at the Trail line that knocked him out of the game I guess wasn't glaring enough for any of the four Officials to notice, as no call was made. The Smoke Eaters would open the scoring a minute later on a bad turnover at the attacking blue line resulting in an odd-man rush the other way that saw Carter Jones put a drop pass onto the tape of a trailing Jeremy Lucchini who walked untouched into the deep slot where he ripped a perfect wrist shot top corner, long-side over the glove of Colten Lancaster. Tyler Ghiradosi also drew an assist on the play at 7:04 of the first. The Bulldogs had a great looking chance on an odd-man rush to respond, but one pass too many resulted in no shot on net. The Smoke Eaters would earn the game's first power play a minute later, and cashed in on it to lead 2-0 on a tough luck bounce saw a Jeremy Lucchini wrist shot deflect off a Bulldog stick to perfectly find the bottom corner, long-side low glove on Lancaster. Ross Armour drew the lone assist at 10:36. It was a 3-0 game before you could blink as Braeden Tuck stole the puck from the last defender back in the Dogs zone to skate in on a breakaway where he deked one home on the forehand past Lancaster, un-assisted at 11:02 of the first to bring about a goalie change, although Lancaster certainly wasn't to blame. The Bulldogs would earn their first power play chance a minute later, and looked to perhaps be deserving of a 5 on 3 when Keaton Mastrodonato was drilled head-first into the glass from behind, but no arms went up. They couldn't cash in on it, but earned another power play late in the period. It would go from bad to worse on the advantage, as they conceded their first shorthanded goal of the season when Jacob Yuris fed Carter Jones in the Dogs zone where he walked in tight and snapped one home short-side past the blocker of a screened John Hawhtorne to make it 4-0, with Tyler Ghiradosi also drawing an assist at 16:20 of the first. Despite the big hole, the Bulldogs didn't show any signs of packing it in as they generated a couple great chances around the Smokies net throughout the remainder of the period, but couldn't get one to go.

Shots in the first favoured Trail 15-14.

The Bulldogs played inspired hockey to start the second, rarely leaving the attacking zone while running up a 5-0 edge in shots on goal, although they didn't generate a Grade A chance. A hard to watch sequence would see the Bulldogs penalized before the puck drop, as Cayden Kraus was immediately kicked out of the faceoff circle. Isaac Tonkin-Palmer would then jump twice and also be kicked out of the circle, bringing about a delay of game penalty. The Smoke Eaters would cash in on the chance in the first 30 seconds of it, with a cross-crease pass being tapped into a wide open cage by Ross Armour, with Blaine Caton and Kale Howarth assisting at 5:52 of the second. The Bulldogs would again fail to fold the tent, finally getting on the board just a minute and change later as Jackson Doucet followed up a great missed chance to walk out from behind the net where he picked the top corner, short-side high past the glove of Tanner Marshall to make it 5-1 from Ryan Steele and Keaton Mastrodonato at 7:09 of the second. The Dogs unfortunately couldn't make use of the momentum, as just seconds later it was 6-1 when a turnover at the attacking line saw a defenceman caught and an odd-man rush the other way that resulted in a breakaway for Andre Ghantous that he finished with a nice backhand deke past Hawthorne. Assists on the play went to Blaine Caton and Seth Barton at 7:58 of the second. There would be no scoring through the remainder of the period, largely thanks to the Bulldog penalty kill that was called upon four consecutive instances. A great chance at the buzzer saw Ryan Steele race in on a shorthanded breakaway, but he couldn't find the net. Shots in the period were 11-10 Trail, for a 26-24 advantage after 40 minutes.

The Bulldogs killed off a final penalty to start the third period, and then earned a man advantage of their own that they connected on to make it a 6-2 when Grayson Valente found Sami Pharaon on the left half-wall of the Trail zone. He would put a perfect pass through the seam to the slot for Paul Selleck, who snapped a quick release top corner, glove side on Marshall at 2:50 into the third. The Dogs were gifted a power play soon afterwards, when Kale Howarth - in my opnion at least - accidentally flipped the puck over the glass after an off-side call. He would be called for delay of game, but the Dogs unfortunately couldn't take advantage of the opportunity. There was no scoring through the rest of the period.

Third period shots were 16-8 Bulldogs, for a 40-32 game total in their favour. Colten Lancaster took the loss in giving up three goals before being relieved by John Hawthorne while Tanner Marshall picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 5 on the power play while Trail went 2 for 6.



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