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Sunday, December 03, 2017

Dogs drop fourth straight, 6-2 to Eagles

The game was sloppy initially with both sides guilty of coughing up the middle of their zone. The Bulldogs would pay the price for it, as a pass up the middle was intercepted allowing the Eagles to control the zone before they opened the scoring as Ryan Brushett walked to the net from the right side and pulled a backhand around the blocker of Hawthorne to make it 1-0 just 2:41 into the first with Owen Norton and Matthew Campese assisting. The Dogs continue to be a step behind, and took a penalty that ended up in their net to make it 2-0 as the Eagles took advantage of a Bulldog forward who had lost his stick off the draw. Owen Norton would walk into the slot and rip a perfect corner shot long side over Hawthorne's blocker, with assists going to Cory Babichuk and John Wesley at 10:04 of the first. The Eagles spent the better part of the next three or four minutes running around the Bulldog zone, but couldn't build on their lead. The Bulldogs would push back and get into the game in the latter stages of the period, aided by two power play chances, but they couldn't cash in on them as it remained 2-0 Eagles after 20 minutes, with the shots even at 15-15.

The Eagles picked up where they left off to start the second, with John Hawthorne coming up with two big saves with his left pad on the doorstep in the first minute of the period to keep it a two-goal game. He was hung out to dry a minute later however, with Desi Burgart found by Owen Norton wide open at the side of the Bulldog net. Burgart would make no mistake picking the top corner, long-side over the blocker of Hawthorne. The Referee at the net initially waved it off, and the Eagles protested as play continued for over a minute. When play stopped, the Officials convened and allowed the goal, which appeared to be the correct call. Assists on the play went to John Wesley and Ty Westgard at 1:44 of the second. The Dogs continued to try and get going to get into the game, and did have a couple solid chances but Daniel Davidson protected the lead. He would make a big save on a 2 on 1 rush to again keep it 3-0, and the Eagles turned up ice and connected on the rush to make it a 4-0 game when Jordan Robert walked down the left side and in tight and put it on goal where Hawthorne made the save, but couldn't get help on the rebound as Aaron White beat his man to the net and tapped it home from the crease. Connor Sunquist also drew an assist on the play at 8:57 of the second. The Eagles would tack on to their lead immediately off the draw in the Bulldog end, as Ryan Brushett took a cross-crease pass wide open off the back post where he went backhand, high glove side off the post and in for his second of the game, with Jeffrey Stewart drawing the only assist at 11:15 of the second.  The Bulldogs spent the next minute all around the Eagles net, but couldn't busy on a series of in tight chances.They drew back to back power plays late in the period, and while they didn't score on the first, they did connect on the second to send the Teddy Bears flying as Mitch Oliver made a great play to keep the puck in out of mid air at the right point, before finding Connor Welsh at the top of the left circle. He would walk in and put a wrist shot through traffic past the glove of Davidson to make it 5-1 at 14:37 of the second. The Bulldogs would get another one three minutes later as Mitch Oliver threw the puck cross ice where Connor Welsh found it on the left half boards. He simply put a quick wrist shot at the net from a sharp angle that was deflected home inside the post low-short side by Ryan Steele to make it 5-2 at 17:56 of the second. Shots in the period were 22-20 Surrey, for a two period total in their favour of 37-35.

The Eagles did a good job through the first half of the third period to not give the Bulldogs much in the way of chances to get back into it, as they held their three-goal lead into the final 10 minutes. The Bulldogs would earn a power play late in the game, but couldn't cash in on a great chance that saw Davidson come up with a one-timer save on the doorstep on Cole Poliziani. The Eagles would immediately go up ice and rub some salt in the wound with a shorthanded marker - the fourth the Dogs have conceded in five games, as Jordan Robert gained the Dogs line and put a shot on goal that was stopped by Hawthorne, but he was bumped by an Eagle and a defenceman and be unable to recover as Chase Danol tapped in the loose puck at the side of the net to make it 6-2 at 18:22 of the third. An assist was added after the final buzzer to Brendan Winslow on the goal, but he wasn't even on the ice so I'm not sure how that can happen.

Third period shots were 13-12 Surrey, for a game total of 50-47, with John Hawthorne and Daniel Davidson being the goalies of record. I had the Dogs at 1 for 6 on the power play, while the Eagles went 1 for 2 while also scoring once while shorthanded.

The Bulldogs have now lost four in a row, and are winless in five. They're next in action Friday in Prince George.



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