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Saturday, February 03, 2018

Kings top Bulldogs 4-1

The Kings had a dangerous chance just a handful of seconds into the game as a Buldog defender got caught stepping up at neutral ice and a dangerous rush and scramble ensued. The Bulldogs then pushed back, and carried the better of the play through the first five or six minutes, opening up a 5-1 lead in shots and getting a couple good chances around Mitch Adamyk. The Kings got on the attack later in the frame, and while the Dogs didn't give up much in the way of big chances, John Hawthorne was busy, and good, coming up most notably with a big save in tight on Nick Abbott. The Kings would earn a trio of power play opportunities in the back-half of the period - the Bulldogs killed off the first with Hawthorne again tested a couple times in tight. They were later penalized on a 2 on 1 rush where Carter Harris was penalized for goalie interference - it looked like in real time, and on the replay that Ben Raffler fell down, or dove to attempt to break up a pass, and if anything made more contact on Adamyk than Harris did. It brought about an interesting scenario, as Adamyk was forced to leave the game, bringing in Emergency Back-up Cam Stevenson. The Bulldogs didn't get a chance to test him though, as they were again penalized less than a minute later bringing about a 5 on 3 power play of 1:01 in duration for the Kings. The Bulldogs again killed it off, but couldn't get any momentum before the Kings opened the scoring as Mitch Williams carried the puck up the right wing below the goal line were he put a perfect centering pass onto the tape of Ethan Kimball who one-timed it through Hawthorne to make it 1-0 at 19:06 of the first, with Josh Coblenz also drawing an assist on the play. Shots were 18-9 Kings after one.

The second period saw the Bulldogs earn their first power play of the game, but it was quickly taken away on what looked like a great defensive play to block a shot by Darren Rizzolo. The Dogs killed off the ensuing penalty, but the Kings scored just a second later on a fortunate bounce for them, as Ben Thomas fanned on a one-timer from the hashmarks, but it worked out as a perfect pass off the near post for Gavin Rauser, who fired it inside the post before Hawthorne could recover to make it 2-0 at 9:11 of the second. The Dogs killed off two more penalties throughout the period, and had an opportunity of their own sandwiched in the middle that they threatened on, but couldn't get a bounce to trim the hole, coming painfully close when Keaton Mastrodonato hit the crossbar on a partial breakaway. The Bulldogs kept pushing after killing a penalty later in the period, and finally found the net as Paul Selleck won a draw in the Kings zone back to the left point for Luc Salem. He made a quick pass across the line to Mitch Oliver, who just flipped one at the goal where Jackson Doucet deflected it home to make it 2-1 at 19:26 of the second. Shots in the period were 16-15 Kings, for a 40 minute advantage of 34-24.

The third period saw the Bulldogs have a handful of great chances on odd-man rushes through the early minutes of it, but they couldn't make one of them count. The game stayed 2-1 until the midway point of the period, when the Dogs got caught with a tired group on the ice after an icing call. It would end up in their net just a couple seconds later when Neal Samanski won the draw right back onto the tape of Hunter Findlater, who picked the top corner, short-side high on Hawthorne to make it 3-1 at 9:08 of the third. Just 12 seconds later, it was game over as Gavin Rauser was knocked down below the goal line but out-fought a Bulldog defender for possession to find Carter Turnbull who walked un-touched across the crease where he lifted a backhand home top corner, far-side over the blocker of Hawthorne to make it 4-1 at 9:20. There would be no scoring the rest of the way, as the Kings made the lead stand.

Shots in the third were 14-6 Kings, for a game total of 48-30 in their favour, with John Hawthorne taking the loss while Cam Stevenson picked up the win in relief of Mitch Adamyk in earning 1st star honours. The Bulldogs went 0 for 4 on the power play while the Kings went 0 for 8.

The Bulldogs are next in action Wednesday night when they host the Nanaimo Clippers.


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