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Friday, November 10, 2017

Grizzlies comeback to top Bulldogs 3-2 in overtime

A somewhat slow start with lots of whistles early in the game, but the pace picked up quickly with the Dogs having the best early chance when Cole Poliziani chased down a flip pass to stay on side and skate in on a breakaway only to have his shot go off Shawn Parkinson and the crossbar and stay out. The Bulldogs would earn a power play soon afterwards, but didn't look crisp on it as the Grizzlies killed it off well. The Dogs earned another power play almost immediately, and this time connected on it on a pretty play that saw Ryan Steele put a goal line feed to the right side of the net for Julian Benner, who put a perfect pass into the right side of the slot for Keaton Mastrodonato who made no mistake blowing a one-timer top corner, long-side over the blocker of Parkinson to make it 1-0 at 6:38 of the first. They were painfully close to doubling their lead on a scramble on the next shift on an open net that just stayed out. The Grizzlies seconds later tied the game at 1-1 when the Dogs coughed the puck up in their zone. An initial pass hit a Victoria leg before Shawn O'Malley found it off a Bulldog at the side of the slot and lifted it home past the glove of John Hawthorne, with Jordan Guiney drawing the lone assist at 8:48 of the first. A Bulldog power play two minutes later failed to threaten, before the Grizzlies earned their first opportunity of the game with four minutes to play in the period. John Hawthorne came up with a big save late in the man advantage to keep it tied as he stopped Jamie Rome on a breakaway. Shots in the period were 12-9 Bulldogs.

The second period was somewhat similar to the first in the early minutes, with not much in the way of flow either way, with the Grizzlies having an early edge in the play. They would continue to force the Bulldogs into turnovers, and had a couple of instances of extended time in the attacking zone, but they couldn't capitalize to take the lead with Hawthorne coming up with one notable save on an in-alone chance down the left side for Ethan Nother that he kept out with his right pad. The Bulldogs pushed back to even the ice later in the period, and came close on a power play on a left faceoff circle one-timer for Cole Poliziani that again appeared to hit Parkinson and the crossbar and stay out before being swatted away in midair by a Grizzlies defender. The Dogs would take a 2-1 lead late in the period on the rush as Tyson Slater took a big hit in the far corner to rim the puck to the blue line where Bradley Ong chipped it past a defender to create a long 2 on 1 for Issac Tonkin-Palmer up the right wing where he kept the puck and used Tyler Vanuden as a decoy before walking into the right circle where he put one blocker side through Parkinson that just dribbled over the line at 17:42 of the second. Shots in the period were 15-11 Grizzlies, for a 24-23 lead in their favour after two.

The Bulldogs dodged a big bullet early in the third, with a turnover in their zone ending up on the tape of TJ Friedmann alone in front of Hawthorne. He would beat the goalie, but not the post as it stayed out. The Grizzlies would draw a penalty just short of the midway mark of the period, but the Bulldogs killed it off beautifully and didn't give up much to protect their lead. The Dogs drew a late game power play for a chance to put the game away, but they again didn't generate much. The Grizzlies would tie the game seconds after the penalty elapsed, as Cameron Thompson walked down the left wing and in tight on goal where he put a puck on net that found it's way in past Hawthorne to make it 2-2 at 18:19 of the third, with Lucas Clark drawing the lone assist. The Grizzlies pushed for the winner in the dying seconds, with Hawthorne coming up with a big save on a wide-open Jordan Guiney in tight to keep it 2-2 and force overtime. Shots in the third were 11-4 Grizzlies, for a 60 minute total of 35-27.

Overtime ended quickly, as the Grizzlies won the draw and the Dogs never touched the puck as Drayson Pears put a shot from the left point wide of the net where it was found back of the goal line by TJ Friedmann. He would walk out up the right side while Pears went to the net and no one picked him up. Pears would deflect the first Friedmann pass off the out side of the post, but he stayed with the play and poked it in before any defender was within reach for the game winner just 27 seconds into overtime.

Final shots were 36-27 Grizzlies, with John Hawthorne taking the loss while earning 1st star honours while Shawn Parkinson picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 6 on the power play while the Grizzlies went 0 for 3.


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