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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dogs head into Christmas break with 4-2 win over Capitals

The Bulldogs got off to a solid start and built up an early edge in shots on goal, but JJ Pichette was sharp in the Capital net. The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead just short of the midway point of the period when James Orban won a draw in the attacking zone. Keaton Mastrodonato fed it behind the goal line for Ryan Steele, who gave it right back to him in the deep slot where he put a one-timer low, far side past the blocker of Pichette to make it 1-0 at 9:59 of the first. The next five to eight minutes were all Capitals, as they had a series of in-alone and odd man chances all around John Hawthorne, who was very very good to keep it 1-0. The Bulldogs would build their lead in the final minute of the period on the power play as Ryan Steele banked the puck back to the line for Mitch Oliver. He would go D-to-D to Connor Welsh at the left point. Welsh would carry right, and switch up with Oliver and set him up at the top of the left circle where he blew a one-timer high past Pichette to make it 2-0 at 19:16 of the first. Shots after one were 14-12 Capitals.

The second period saw the Bulldogs again get off to a good start, with a handful of shots and pressure in the Capitals zone in the early minutes of it. The Capitals would push back however, getting on the board to make  a game of it as Azzaro Tinling won a battle below the goal line and put a perfect pass to the slot for Ethan Scardina who one-timed it far side off the post and in past Hawthorne's blocker. Tate Coughlin also drew an assist on the play at 4:49 of the second to make it 2-1. Exactly a minute later the Bulldogs got a huge goal to restore their two goal lead as a Capital defender took a long run to hit a Bulldog behind his net. A perfect stretch pass by Darren Rizzolo would result in a breakaway for Cole Poliziani, who skated in alone on Pichette and put a perfect wrist shot low far-side past the blocker to make it 3-1 at 5:49 of the second. There would be no scoring for the remainder of the period, with not much in the way of big scoring chances but plenty of after the whistle skirmishes. Shots in the period 14-10 Capitals, for a 26-24 advantage after 40 minutes.

The Capitals got a great chance early in the third to try and make a game of it, as Tate Coughlin was found behind the Dogs defence at centre ice for a breakaway that saw Hawthorne stare him down to make a big save to preserve the two-goal lead less than two minutes into the third. The Bulldogs gave up no less than three breakaways in the back half of the period, with Hawthorne coming up huge on Jonathan Stein twice on the same shift in fact with 8:00 to play in the period. The Dogs didn't adjust and continued to push too far offensively, and got burned for it as Ty Pochipinski was found on a stretch pass by Tate Coughlin behind the Bulldog defence - with only a forward chasing him, and he went high and put it off the glove of Hawthorne and in to make it 3-2 at 14:57 of the third, with Tate Coughlin drawing the lone assist. The Bulldogs were penalized on the next shift, but did a good job to kill a minute of the penalty before drawing a penalty of their own to make it 4-aside hockey. The Bulldogs defended well into the final minute and sealed the deal into an empty net as James Orban knocked it loose for Darren Rizzolo, who head-manned it for Ryan Steele who gained the Capitals line before hitting the empty net to make it a 4-2 final at 19:34 of the third.

Shots in the third were 9-8 Capitals, for a game total in their favour of 35-32, with John Hawthorne picking up 1st star honours with the win in net while JJ Pichette took the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 3 on the power play while the Capitals went 0 for 2.

With the win, the Dogs snap a two game losing streak heading into the Christmas break. They are next in action December 30th and 30st when they host the Powell River Kings.

Have a great Christmas break players/fans/staff!



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