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Sunday, January 07, 2018

Dogs fall 4-3 to Warriors

The Bulldogs and Warriors both appeared to have a good jump in the opening minutes, but the Bulldogs were once again penalized early and quickly found themselves on their heels as the Warriors gained momentum on the power play, but they kept John Hawthorne busy. He would then make a big breakaway save on Max Bulawka to keep it scoreless. The Bulldogs would respond to open the scoring with a power play of their own as they cashed in on the rush as Sami Pharaon worked the puck to the Warriors line up the left wing for Paul Selleck. He would gain the line and put a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of Cole Polizani, who finished the chance beautifully with a top corner, far-side high shot off the back bar. The time of the goal was 8:10 of the first. The Dogs didn't have long to play with the lead, as the Warriors tied it just 34 seconds later as they won a draw in the attacking zone and worked the puck to the left wing wall where Michael Ryan threw it to the top of the crease where Max Bulawka deflected it home. Jake Harrison also drew an assist on the play at 8:34 of the first. The Warriors earned another power play less than a minute later, and pushed hard for the go-ahead goal, but John Hawthorne was fantastic to keep it tied. The Dogs earned a subsequent power play late in the period and had a couple near misses around the Warrior net, but also couldn't cash in. One more Warrior power play in the final two minutes of the period saw them threaten, but again they couldn't beat Hawthorne who was tested often. Shots in the first were 19-6 West Kelowna.

The Warriors took the first lead of the game inside of four minutes into the second, as a bad change combined with a failure to get the puck in deep at the attacking line resulted in a breakaway with a perfect head-man pass by Spencer Hora on the tape of RJ Murphy. He would race in alone and fake cutting wide before sliding it home five-hole on Hawthorne, making it 2-1 at 3:29 of the second. The Warriors kept the pressure up, but the Dogs earned a power play short of the midway point of the period. They weren't able to generate much in the way of momentum on chances on it, however. The Warriors created a Grade A chance in tight in front of the Dogs net late in the period to build the lead, but Hawthorne came up with a big glove save on a one-timer by RJ Murphy. The Bulldogs would get two fantastic chances in the final minute and change of the period, the first seeing Paul Selleck put a perfectly placed pass onto the tape of Jackson Doucet for a breakaway - he took an outstretched Warriors stick from behind into his arm and failed to get a shot on net, with no call coming. Doucet would then gain the zone and set up Selleck with a perfect pass to the deep slot, but Nik Amundrud made a fantastic save with his blocker to keep it 2-1. Shots in the period were 10-7 Warriors, for a 40 minute advantage of 29-13.

Jackson Doucet would get another breakaway inside the first minute of the third, but missed the net high and wide. The Bulldogs would tie the game half a minute later, when James Orban took a high and hard hit at the Bulldog line to get the puck out of the zone for a 2 on 1 rush. Tyler Vanuden would carry the puck up the left wing, and dish off to Keaton Mastrodonato who returned the puck cross-ice where Vanuden tapped it in 1:21 into period three to make it 2-2. The Warriors would answer back to take the lead when Wyatt Head blocked an up the middle clearing attempt by the last man back to skate in on a breakaway where he cut across the crease and lifted it high, long-side past the glove of Hawthorne. The goal was unassisted at 5:04 of the third. The Bulldogs would be penalized a minute and change later, but came up with a big kill to keep it tied. They would earn a power play later in the period where they tied the game on a goal that appeared to happen after a missed hand-pass by Ryan Steele on the faceoff. Play would continue, as Mitch Oliver put a puck on goal from the top of the left circle. Amundrud would make the save, but couldn't control the rebound. Ryan Steele would get it on net, and Tyler Vanuden would locate the rebound near side and lift it home to make it 3-3 at 12:55 of the third. The Warriors would take the lead back less than a minute on an unfortunate couple of plays at both ends of the ice as a rink-wide pass appeared to be shaping up for a partial breakaway for Christian Simeone. It would instead hit the Linesman and turn up ice and end up in the Dogs net a second later as Calvin Tilsley threw a floater on net from the left wing that handcuffed Hawthorne and went off his blocker or stick and in through his legs and just over the line with the Official being well positioned to see it trickle over. Assists on the play went to Michael Lombardi and Chase Dubois at 14:53 of the third.

Now, here comes the finish. James Orban threw a hard hit on Michael Lombardi, drawing a retaliation from the Warriors and an initial penalty. Keaton Mastrodonato would contact Calvin Tilsley at centre somewhat incidentally, drawing another penalty. Jake Harrison would retaliate to defend Tilsley, and went at Mastrodonato and threw a couple of punches - nothing malicious but certainly an infraction. He however would not be penalized, so opposed to a Bulldog power play it remained even strength. On the next shift, James Orban would catch Lombardi again at the attacking blue line with a high hit as he contacted him as he was looking down on a drop pass. The hit would send him cartwheeling as he landed on his face and was cut. The Warriors would again understandably retaliate and stand up for their teammate and the Bulldogs defended themselves. There would be no extra call on the retaliation this time and it was evened up, resulting in the Warriors earning a major power play. The Bulldogs would get the puck deep and pull their goalie for the extra attacker, when more "stuff" broke out, as Spencer Hora drove Cole Poliziani into the boards from behind as he was chasing a rim. The Referee would raise his arm initially, but then point at BOTH Hora and Poliziani - who would end up down injured and need assistance off the ice. Tyler Vanuden would quite vocally voice his displeasure and surprise at the diving penalty to Poliziani and received a 10 minute misconduct. He was then subsequently given Poliziani's diving/unsporstmanlike conduct penalty. One has to assume that this done so accidentally and the situation was incorrectly managed when the dust settled. At the same time it's impossible for one to not consider that it's a way to hang the penalty on him if any consideration was made after the fact that the initial call on Poliziani wasn't correct. At any length the Dogs didn't get a power play and had to keep their net empty to remain at even strength. They weren't able to generate a chance to tie it, and the Warriors held on for the 4-3 final.

Third period shots were 14-12 Warriors, for a game total of 43-25. John Hawthorne took the loss while Nik Amundrud earned 1st star honours with the win. The Dogs went 2 for 5 on the power play while the Warriors went 0 for 6.

The Bulldogs have now lost three in a row, they're next in action Friday in Victoria, before returning home to host Salmon Arm on Saturday.


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