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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Fantastic game, horrible ending - Kings top Dogs 3-2 in double OT

A very fast start to the game, with not much in the way of whistles through the first four minutes with a lot of flow to get everyone on both sides of the puck into the game early. The Bulldogs had the best chances early, with Christian Simeone turned aside by Mitch Adamyk wide open in the deep slot. The Kings would earn the first power play of the game six minutes in, but it was the Bulldogs who earned the best chance on it as Tyler Vanuden skated in on a breakaway as he chased down a Connor Welsh clear off the glass. Vanuden would beat Adamyk, but not the goal post - it fooled me as I thought it was off the back bar, as it stayed scoreless. The Dogs would open the scoring with just under three minutes to play in the first on a somewhat of a broken play at the Powell River line as Callum Volpe stood up Ryan Steele. He wouldn't give up on the play though, and stayed on side as he poked it ahead for Keaton Mastrodonato, who made a pretty move to pull it through the legs of Carter Turnbull to skate in on a one-on-one where he ripped a perfectly placed shot top corner, short-side over the shoulder of Adamyk. James Orban also drew an assist on the play at 17:09 of the first. The Dogs earned a power play off the ensuing faceoff, and cashed in on it when Connor Welsh found Jackson Doucet on the right wing boards. He would feed Paul Selleck on the goal line at the right side of the net, where he jammed it on goal and stuck with it to poke his own rebound home to make it 2-0 at 18:53 of the first. Shots after 20 minutes were 15-7 Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs killed off a penalty that carried over from the first to protect their lead, but the Kings continued to push and earned another power play that they connected on to get on the board as Jonny Evans made a nice move to make a defender miss through the left circle to walk in tight where he beat John Hawthorne with a perfectly placed high short-side finish past his blocker to make it 2-1. Assists on the play went to Carter Turnbull and Andy Stevens at 4:07 of the period. The Bulldogs responded well to the goal against, and had a series of good attacking zone shifts to try and restore their lead. A crazy scramble at the Kings net saw the puck spend a long amount of time on the goal line but not cross it, with Referee Shayne Alyward perfectly positioned behind the net to wave it off. Another Bulldog penalty half a minute later was successfully killed off, but the Kings would continue to press and tied the game on a pretty end to end rush by Nathan Kelly that saw him find a loose puck in tight and appear to put it off a defender's stick and up and over the blocker of Hawthorne long-side to tie it at 2-2. No assists were given on the play at 15:01 of the period. The Bulldogs were once again penalized on a call that had the fans up in arms a minute and a half later, but successfully killed it off to keep the game tied at 2-2 after 40 minutes. Shots in the period were 14-12 Kings, for a 27-21 Dogs edge.

The third period continued to be played at a high pace and was fun to watch with the score remaining 2-2 through the midway point, with the Bulldogs coming up with another solid penalty kill on another call that had the building up in arms as Ryan Steele was called for roughing for a hard hit on Kyle Kawamura as the Kings failed to connect on their fifth consecutive power play. The Dogs would kill it, with Hawthorne making two big saves on Neal Samanski on the door step to preserve the tie. There would be no scoring throughout the remainder of the period, with the shots being 13-13 for a 60 minute total of 40-34 Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs dominated the first overtime, but couldn't generate a Grade A chance to beat Mitch Adamyk despite having a 6-0 edge in shots. The double overtime saw each team have their chances, with the Kings winning it in excruciating fashion as Shayne Alyward had himself planted on the end boards in the corner of the Dogs zone where he got in the way of an attempted D-to-D pass that went off of him, out of the reach of a Bulldog, and onto the tape of Nathan Kelly. He would find a wide open Ben Thomas in front of the net who out-waited John Hawthorne and pulled it around him to end the game. No assist was given on the play, but Nathan Kelly deserved one. In fact, the goal wasn't even given by the Referees to Ben Thomas, but instead Ethan Kimball, who was no where near the play. I'll avoid the tongue in cheek comment about also who deserved an assist, one has to know the Officials never want to have a direct hand in deciding a game like that - at 3:30 of double OT for the 3-2 final score.

Final shots were 50-36 Bulldogs, with John Hawthorne taking the loss while Mitch Adamyk picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 1 on the power play while the Kings went 1 for 7.

These teams meet each other again tomorrow afternoon for a 2:00pm start to round out 2017 and ring in 2018.



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