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Sunday, November 26, 2017

UPDATED with VIDEO Dogs drop second straight, 8-5 to the Grizzlies

The first whistle of the game wasn't until over three minutes into it, when it was 1-0 Bulldogs on a turnover by Victoria netminder Shawn Parkinson behind the goal line in his end that was found by James Orban. He would attempt to bank it it and threw it to the crease where it caromed off a Grizzlies defender to the deep slot for Sami Pharaon, who walked in and snapped one home blocker side past a screen provided by Gregg Lee in front. The Bulldogs pushed with a couple Grade A chances created on a power play opportunity a minute later, but Parkinson came up with a couple big saves to keep it a 1-0 game. The Grizzlies would push back and tie the game in the back half of the first period on a turnover by the Bulldogs in their own zone that saw Cameron Thompson walk down the right side and put a perfect pass to the hashmarks for Marty Westhaver who fired it home past the glove of John Hawthorne to make it 1-1 at 11:03 of the first. The Grizzlies continued to push and drew a power play that they made very quick work on as Alex Newhook one-timed a backdoor pass from Ethan Nother into the open side, with Matt Doran also drawing an assist at 13:27 of the first. The Grizzlies kept pushing the pace, with John Hawthorne coming up with at least two fantastic saves on in alone chances to keep it a one-goal game, and the Bulldogs responded quickly to tie it at 2-2 as Mitch Oliver kept the puck in at the right point, and put a perfect D-to-D pass across the line to Connor Welsh. He would walk in and put a perfect slap-pass backdoor set up on to the tape of Jackson Doucet, who deflected it inside the far post to tie it at 2-2 at 17:51 of the first. The Bulldogs took the lead back just 59 seconds later when they went end to end out of their zone as Cole Poliziani found Christian Simeone at centre ice on a 2 on 1 rush. He put a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of James Orban at the top of the left circle where he picked the bottom corner, long-side for his first as a Bulldog to make it 3-2 at 18:50 of the first. The Bulldogs earned a power play on the following shift, and began the second period with 1:15 of power play time.  Shots in the period were 12-10 Victoria.

The Bulldogs would take advantage of the power play, scoring on a gorgeous set up on the rush as Mitch Oliver put a perfect head man pass at centre up the left side for Jackson Doucet. He would put a cross-ice pass over the line for Keaton Mastrodonato, who in turn dished it rink wide for Paul Selleck who walked into the left circle and buried it top corner, long-side over the glove of Parkinson to make it 4-2 at 30 seconds of the period. It was 5-2 just 33 seconds later on another power play goal, this time taking just 8 seconds off the clock as Paul Selleck worked the puck off the draw from behind the goal line to the top of the crease for Keaton Mastrodonato, who hammered a one-timer home to make it 5-2 at 1:33 of the second. The Bulldogs pressed an had a couple solid chances to build their lead but couldn't cash in. The Grizzlies would get back within two a minute short of the middle of the period on a faceoff win in the Dogs end back to the left point for Jacson Alexander, who put a perfectly placed seeing eye wrister top corner, long side over the glove of Hawthorne, with assists to Tanner Hopps and Lach Hadley at 9:01 of the second. Almost instantly after the goal, the Grizzlies were penalized. The Bulldogs came close an open net at the top of the crease but it stayed out. Victoria would get back into the game on a slashing call against the Bulldogs later in the period, on a pass to the slot for a wide open Lucas Clark, who beat John Hawthorne with a quick release far-side past his blocker inside the post to make it 5-4 at 17:33 of the second. The Bulldogs would press on the following shift, and a Defenceman would walk down the left wing deep and throw the puck at the net. It would head up ice, and everyone was caught deep as the Grizzlies worked the 2 on 1 perfectly as Shawn O'Malley carried up the right side and outwaited the Bulldog defender to slide a cross-ice pass onto the tape of Lucas Clark who one-timed it low inside the near post before Hawthorne could get over to make it 5-5 at 18:27 of the second. Shots in the period were 19-14 Grizzlies, for a 31-24 advantage after 40 minutes.

The Bulldogs got off to a fantastic start in the third, managing the puck well and spending the better part of the early minutes in the Grizzlies end. Victoria would unfortunately score against the flow of play on a quick regroup in neutral ice that saw TJ Friedmann take a headman pass at the Bulldog line and walk into the deep slot where he picked the top corner, long-side over the blocker of Hawthorne to make it 6-5 at 3:10 of the third, with assists to Matt Doran and Jacson Alexander. The Bulldogs to their credit didn't wilt, and had a couple good chances to tie the game over the following minutes. They would earn a power play chance in search of the equalizer eight minutes into the period, but conceded a shorthanded breakaway after a poor play on the half wall and a bad pinch at the point led to a breakaway for Carter Berger where he deked low across the crease to tuck it inside the post to make it 7-5 at 8:46 of the third with Lucas Clark drawing the lone assist on the play. The Bulldogs appeared gassed at times, but still fought valiantly to get back into it, but they couldn't get the next one to make it a one-goal game before the Grizzlies iced it on a 200 foot empty netter for Matt Doran, un-assisted at 17:33 to make it an 8-5 final.

Third period shots were 12-8 Grizzlies for a game total in their favour of 43-32 with John Hawthorne taking the loss while Zach Rose picked up the win in relief of Shawn Parkinson. The Bulldogs went 2 for 6 on the power play, while the Grizzlies went 2 for 3 while also scoring once while shorthanded.

With the loss, the Dogs have lost two in a row, and are now winless in three. They are FINALLY done a stretch of six straight road games over 10 days. They next see action Saturday at home against Penticton. 


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