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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dogs fall 7-3 to Eagles

The Dogs showed no ill effects from playing their third game in as many days as they had a noticable jump to their stride from the opening puck drop. The Bulldogs drew the first power play of the game, but were subsequently penalized less than 30 seconds into it. The Bulldogs would proceed to open the scorin durin four-aside hockey less than a minute later as Mitch Oliver put a rink-wide saucer pass onto the tape of Connor Welsh just outside the Eagles line on the left wing. Welsh then put another cross-ice pass up the middle for Isaac Tonkin-Palmer, who walked around an Eagle defender with a pretty move and danced in alone where he went top corner, blocker side past Nic Tallarico to make it 1-0 at 7:44 of the first. The Bulldogs would continue to push the pace in the following minutes and got a good number of pucks on the Eagles net and a couple near misses on rebounds off scrambles. The Eagles pushed back and Brock Lefevbre had to make a good save on an in alone chance by Aaron While to protect the lead. The Eagles kept pushing, and tied the game at 1-1 at 14:11 of the first when they attacked the Bulldog zone with speed. A first pass was blocked with a good defensive play, but the puck was found by Matthew Campese who snapped one home long side under the blocker of Lefevbre to make it 1-1 from Jeffrey Stewart and Ryan Brushett. The Bulldogs didn't let the goal against deflate them, as they fired right back on the next shift and spent time in the attacking zone and threatened. They would take the lead back late in the period after killing off an Eagle power play for a minute, and then having the Eagles take a too-many-men penalty. Before the period was out it was 2-1 as Jackson Doucet put a puck on net from the right circle that was stopped, but Keaton Mastrodonato put a rebound on goal that was stopped and went to the top of the crease for Paul Selleck, who fired it home before Tallarico could recover to make it 2-1 at 19:53 of the first. The celebration was short-lived, as at the end of the period Liam Lytton took a hit a split second after the buzzer from behind from Dominic Masellis. The hit wasn't malicious, but perhaps somewhat careless, and also made worse perhaps that Lytton had relaxed for a split second as the period had just ended. It was completely from behind, and a cross-check - albeit not a malicious one. Regardless of the intent, the result was quite severe, as Lytton's neck snapped backwards violently and he didn't move once hitting the ice. No penalty was called on the play, but you could've taken your pick of Interference, Checking from Behind or Interference. Shots in the period 19-12

The Bulldogs didn't show any ill effects from a long delay, coupled with seeing a teammate down once the second began, as they picked up where they left off, pushing the pace and getting pucks on net and generating good scoring chances, although they couldn't build their lead. The Dogs failed to score on an early power play in the period, but certainly threatened and kept and gained momentum. The Eagles would get the equalizer in the back-half of the period on the rush, somewhat against the flow of play as Cory Babichuk took a hit to outlet the puck for Jeffrey Stewart. He would find Matthew Campese, who walked into the top of the left circle where he snapped a perfectly placed shot long-side high past the glove of Lefevbre to make it 2-2 at 11:12 of the second. Lefevbre would come up with a couple big saves to keep it tied on the doorstep, stopping an initial attempt and two in tight rebounds. The Bulldogs would come painfully close to taking the lead back on a couple of instances late in the period, with shots hitting Tallarico and just bouncing wide of the post and staying out. Shots in the second were 15-11 Eagles, for a 30-27 Bulldog lead after 40 minutes.

The Eagles came out with an immediate push to start the third, as the Dogs struggled to get the puck out of their zone. A very tough break would lead to a goal against as a puck headed back of the net onto a Bulldog stick unfortunately hit the Referee and died, allowing the Eagles to retain possession. Seconds later it would end up in the Dogs net on a cross-crease pass from the left side being finished by Matthew Campese off the back post past a diving Lefevbre to make it 3-2 at 1:00 of the third, with assists to John Wesley and Ty Westgard. Just 12 seconds later it went from a tied game to a two-goal spread as Jeffrey Stewart was found wide open in the hashmarks by Ryan Brushett, and he beat Brock Lefevbre with a quick release off the glove and in at 1:12 of the third to make it 4-2. The Bulldogs showed considerable jam to not pack it in at that point, as they fought back to make it a 4-3 game as Jackson Doucet fed the puck out of the left corner back to the left point for Connor Welsh. He would put a quick release at the net that was deflected inside the near post by Paul Selleck, for his second of the game to make it 4-3 Eagles at 4:42 of the third. The Dogs had opportunities to tie the game, but once again gave up goals in bunches to fall out of reach just past the midway mark of the period when they lost an attacking zone draw that Ty Westgard put cross-ice onto the tape of John Wesley, who fired it past the glove of Lefevbre to make it 5-3 at 10:28 of the third. Less than a minute later it was 6-3 as Wesley was found alone behind the Bulldog defence on their blue line on a nice pass from Desi Burgart. He would skate in alone and deke one home on the backhand through the legs of Lefevbre at 11:13 of the third. Once again, less than a minute later the Dogs gave up another breakaway stepping up at their blue line at the wrong time allowing Jeffrey Stewart to skate in alone where he finished high over the glove of Lefevbre, with assists going to Ryan Brushett and Chase Danol to make it 7-3 at 12:08 of the third to complete the scoring. The Bulldogs did have a couple Grade A chances late in the game, including a breakaway, but couldn't cash in on them to trim the gap.

Third period shots were 17-13 Eagles, for a game total in their favour of 44-43 with Nic Tallarico picking up the win while Brock Lefevbre took the loss but played well in his Bulldog debut. The Bulldogs went 1 for 6 on the power play while the Eagles went 0 for 5.

The Bulldogs are next in action Wednesday night when they host the Victoria Grizzlies.



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