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Monday, February 12, 2018

Kings drop fourth straight, 4-1 to Kings

The Bulldogs took a penalty on an up the middle turnover in the first minute of the game, but battled back to create a shorthanded breakaway as Christian Simeone blocked a shot and out fought his man to race in on Derek Krall. He would take enough sticks from behind that he didn't get a Grade A shot away, but he still got one on goal, although he couldn't draw a penalty. The Kings were whistled 10 seconds later for an infraction on a puck battle behind their net. The Dogs came close on their 50 second power play, as Luc Salem was stopped on a rebound in front, before Tyler Vanuden rang a shot off the crossbar. The Bulldogs were penalized twice more throughout the period - in somewhat frustrating fashion as they couldn't draw the call their way that they were called for the other way. They would kill the penalties off, but couldn't get any momentum going as a result. The Kings would open the scoring seconds after the third power play chance as Ben Raffler kept the puck in at the left point, and threw it down low for Gavin Rauser. He would make a nice pass to the slot to an un-guarded Kevin Obssuth who fired a quick wrister past the arm of Brock Lefevbre to make it 1-0 at 13:22 of the first. The Bulldogs responded quickly, as Michael Sacco stole the puck off a draw in the Kings end and threw a pass between two Kings to the slot for Keaton Mastrodonato. He would be stopped by the glove of Derek Krall, but Tyler Vanuden pounded the rebound home at the side of the net to make it 1-1 at 14:48 of the first. Shots after 20 minutes were 20-10 Kings.

The Bulldogs pushed hard early in the second, and had a couple good chances around the Kings net, the most notable being when James Orban put a puck on the goal line from behind the net, but it was saved by Aiden Sutherland. The teams would trade chances through the next couple of minutes, with both goalies being sharp. The Dogs were penalized short of the midway point of the period, but similarly to the first period they killed it off but seconds later gave up a goal as Kevin Obssuth did a great job to back-check and cleanly steal it on a stick lift on the Kings side of centre. He would quickly wheel up the left wing and around a Bulldog defender to cut in alone on goal where he lifted it high, far-side over the glove of Lefevbre to make it 2-1 at 10:54 of the period, un-assisted. The Bulldogs earned a penalty shortly afterwards, and while they threatened with a couple pucks on net they couldn't get any second chances to capitalize on it. The Kings would take a 3-1 lead with four minutes to play in the period as Andy Stevens took a pass at the right point from Hunter Findlater. He would avoid two Bulldog stick checks in walking into the deep slot before putting a pass off the far post on the goal line for Gavin Rauser, who fired it home short-side before Lefevbre could get back to his post, at 16:19 of the second. Shots in the period were 16-13 Kings, for a 40 minute total in their favour of 36-23.

The third period absolutely flew by, with not much in the way of whistles through the first 10 plus minutes. The Bulldogs were unable to mount any sort of sustained attack to trim the two goal hole. Christian Simeone would generate a great in alone chance with about five minutes to play. With less than three minutes to play the Bulldogs finally got a good scoring chance, as Tyler Vanuden picked up a perfect stretch pass to skate in alone on Krall but he couldn't slide a backhand home. The Bulldogs would pull their goalie on the same play, but would be immediately penalized to kill any comeback chances. The Kings would put the game away with 1.4 seconds to play from centre ice as Jonny Evans hit the crossbar for the 4-1 final at 19:59 of the third. 

Final shots were 48-26 Kings, with Brock Lefevbre taking the loss, but playing solid, while Derek Krall earned 3rd star honours with the win. The Dogs went 0 for 3 on the power play while the Kings went 1 for 6.

The Bulldogs are next in action Saturday when they host the Chilliwack Chiefs.


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