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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dogs drop second straight, 3-2 to Grizzlies

A fantastic pace from the opening minutes of the game, with the Bulldogs having an edge in the play and shots on goal, but not much in the way of Grade A scoring chances through the first half of the period, with the shots at 10-1 Bulldogs. The Grizzlies pushed back after the middle of the period, but couldn't generate much offensively before the Dogs pushed back and opened the scoring with just under four minutes to play in the period on a miscue/miscommunication at the Victoria net as Kurtis Chapman stopped a shot and then played the puck, surprising his defence. Bradley Ong would find the loose puck at the side of the net and put it on goal, and Isaac Tonkin-Palmer found the rebound at the side of the net and pounded it home to make it 1-0 at 16:13 of the first. The Dogs came close to doubling their lead on the next shift as both Keaton Mastrodonato and Ryan Steele had Chapman down and out seconds apart but couldn't find the net.  The Grizzlies would have a fantastic chance to tie the game in the final minute of the period, as the Dogs turned the puck over at their line with everyone leaving the zone, as Jamie Rome was set up wide open in front of John Hawthorne, but he shot high over the net.  Shots after one were 21-5 Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs started the second with a good jump again, with two great chances in the first minute of the period that were stopped by Chapman. The Grizzlies answered, with John Hawthorne making a great splits save with his right toe in tight on Ethan Nother. The teams would trade chances throughout the frame, with each side getting opportunities on the power play but the goalies standing tall. The Grizzlies had a chance to tie it on a partial breakaway for Jamie Rome, but John Hawthorne just got a piece of it with his left toe to keep it out. The Dogs would take a 2-0 lead in short order, as Tyler Vanuden stayed onside in accepting a stretch pass from Sami Pharaon behind the Grizzlies defence where he skated in alone and beat Chapman long-side past his glove from the top of the left circle. Darren Rizzolo also drew an assist at 15:46 of the period. The Grizzlies would get on the board just 2:04 later on the power play when Alex Newhook was allowed to walk into the deep slot where he ripped a shot through traffic high past the glove of Hawthorne to make it 2-1, with assists going to Ethan Nother and Carter Berger at 17:50 of the second. The Dogs responded with a couple great chances of their own a minute later when Keaton Mastrodonato was set up in the slot, but the Grizzlies would go up ice and tie the game a half a minute later as Alex Newhook was again allowed to walk in tight on goal where he deked and got Hawthorne down and out as he brought the puck behind the goal line. He would fail to tuck it into the open side, but succeeded in getting it to the top of the crease where Ethan Nother tapped it in, with Jamie Rome also assisting at 19:14 of the second to make it 2-2 after 40 minutes. Shots in the period were 14-12 Bulldogs, for a 35-17 advantage after two.

The start to the third period was played somewhat different from the previous two periods as it was somewhat cautious and close to the vest through the first five minutes. The Bulldogs looked to have the go-ahead goal headed to the back of the net on a scramble in front and Chapman out of position, but Shawn O'Malley got his stick on it on the goal line to keep it out. A minute later, the Grizzlies would take a 3-2 lead just over six minutes into the period on a pass from Jamie Rome in the left corner back to the right point that saw Berger attack the zone with speed and pull it around a Bulldog defender into the right circle where he went far side off the post and in past the blocker of Hawthorne at 6:21 of the third. The goal would stand up as the winner and completed the scoring as neither team hit the net the rest of the way - the Bulldogs came painfully close on a long range shot that was deflected and went off the glove of Chapman and off the crossbar and stayed out. Beyond that, the Dogs couldn't generate much to get a push to tie the game as the Grizzlies did a good job to kill the rest of the clock.

Third period shots were 11-9 Grizzlies, for a game total of 44-28 Bulldogs with John Hawthorne taking the loss while Kurtis Chapman took the loss. The Dogs went 0 for 3 on the power play while the Grizzlies went 1 for 4.

The Bulldogs conclude their pre-Christmas portion of their schedule Saturday night when they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals.


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