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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Dogs fall 4-2 to Grizzlies

It wasn't the most crisp or energetic start for either side of the puck in the early minutes but the Dogs had a slight edge with the first couple of shots on net. An interesting penalty call would change the game, as affiliate player Stephen Castagna went to the net at the whistle and knocked down a Grizzlies defender. The player would jump to his feet and retaliate. Castagna would get the only penalty. The Grizzlies would make it 1-0 on the power play, as TJ Friedmann walked deep into the left faceoff dot and put a perfectly placed top corner far-side high shot over the glove of John Hawthorne - who made a couple good saves early in the advantage, to make it 1-0. Assists on the play went to Ethan Nother and Dayne Finnson at 4:33 of the first. The Bulldogs created a great chance three minutes later but couldn't get Kurtis Chapman in the paint, but did draw a power play on a crosscheck to the back of Michael Sacco. The Bulldog power play was flat, and if anything lost momentum. Immediately afterwards, the Dogs got caught on the wrong side of the puck in neutral ice, resulting in a 4 on 2 rush that the Grizzlies cashed in on as Lach Hadley walked down the left side and threw a puck to the crease where it went off a Bulldog skate and in to make it 2-0, with assists going to Trevor Bishop and Finn Withey at 9:18 of the first. The Bulldogs earned back to back power play chances in the final five minutes of the first, but failed to generate anything more than a single chance before the buzzer. Shots in the first were 10-7 Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs failed to generate on a half a minute of carry over man advantage time to begin the second, before earning another power play soon afterwards when Cole Poliziani pushed the pace through centre ice. The Dogs power play showed an increased level of urgency on this instance, and came painfully close to scoring when Cole Poliziani ripped a shot from the deep slot off the crossbar that stayed out. The Dogs continued to push to the midway point of the period, having an edge in play in chances, but they couldn't beat Chapman. The Bulldogs were penalized later in the period, and the Grizzlies struck quickly on the rush to pad their lead as Dayne Finnson gained the zone up the left side and put a perfect backdoor pass onto the tape of Shawn O'Malley, who tapped it into the open net. Also drawing an assist on the play was Ethan Nother at 12:41 of the second. The Bulldogs continued to push, and made a game of it after a huge toe save by John Hawthorne on TJ Friedmann on a 2 on 1 rush. They would turn up ice and make it a 3-1 game as James Orban dropped it back for Christian Simeone, who walked deep to the side of the net down the right wing before putting a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of Mitch Oliver. He would show good patience to rip it over a down and out Chapman at 19:24 of the second. The Grizzlies would complain - I would guess about contact on their goalie, but there wasn't any and the goal stood after a discussion. The Dogs weren't able to even enjoy the goal, as before the period was out it was 4-1 as the Grizzlies attacked the Dogs end and won a series of battles before Drayson Pears threw the puck D-to-D to Dayne Finnson at the left point. He threw a quick shot at the net that appeared to be heading wide but Ryan Nolan got a stick on it to tip it inside the far post with just eight tenths of a second to play in the period. The Grizzlies were penalized on their goal celebration. Shots in the second were 16-9 Bulldogs, for a 26-16 advantage after 40 minutes.

The Bulldogs would make a game of it again before the period was a minute old, as Tyler Vanuden jumped in off the draw in the Grizzlies end to play it back to the left point for Luc Salem. He would make a quick D-to-D pass to Keaton Mastrodonato at the right point, where he ripped a low shot on goal that eluded a screened Chapman five hole to make it 4-2 on the power play at 56 seconds of the third. The Bulldogs continued to push, and had a couple solid chances but couldn't get a bounce around Chapman to make it a one-goal game. John Hawthorne at the other end would keep them in it, with two big saves in tight on a scramble. The Bulldogs would continue to push throughout the period, but couldn't dig out of the hole as the Grizzlies made the lead stand to the final buzzer.

Third period shots were 11-7 Bulldogs, for a game total in their favour of 37-23. John Hawthorne took the loss while Kurtis Chapman earned 3rd star honours with the win. The Dogs went 1 for 7 on the power play while the Grizzlies went 2 for 3.

The Bulldogs are next in action Saturday night when they host the Powell River Kings.


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