Please visit the links and support my friends and supporters!!!

Please visit the links and support my friends and supporters!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Grizzlies top Bulldogs 4-2 to force Game 7

The Grizzlies opened the scoring for the sixth straight game, despite a better start by the Bulldogs as they got caught up ice on the rush and the Grizzlies countered on the transition. Carter Berger put a shot on net from the top of the left circle that was stopped by John Hawthorne, but Lach Hadley went to the net and out fought everyone to just tap the rebound home off the far post. Tanner Hopps drew the second assist at 2:54 of the first. The Grizzlies spent the next minute on the attack in the Dogs zone, but the Bulldogs held on to keep it a one-goal game. They would push back at moments throughout the period, coming painfully close to tying it up as a rebound went through the legs of Stephen Castagna on the side of the crease on an open net. The Grizzlies took a 2-0 lead late in the period as Drayson Pears took a cross-ice pass from Dayne Finnson and beat Hawthorne with a wrister far-side from the top of the right circle. Also drawing an assist on the play was Jordan Guiney at 18:56 of the first. The Bulldogs immediately responded and generated a scramble in the Victoria crease that had several open net looks and Kurtis Champman and a defender down on the ice in the paint to keep it out to protect the lead after 20 minutes. Shots in the first were 15-12 Grizzlies.

The Bulldogs generated another fantastic chance early in the second on a 2 on 1 rush where Michael Sacco kept the puck and shot from the right wing. Chapman made the save, with the rebound bouncing high in the air but just staying out off the post. The Grizzlies would respond and go up 3-0 on a quick pass from behind the goal line to the deep slot for Trevor Nolan, who snapped a quick shot long-side past the glove of Hawthorne. Also assisting was Alex Newhook at 4:20 of the second. The Grizzlies pushed immediately to build the lead, but Hawthorne came up with a couple big saves in tight to keep it close. The Bulldogs finally found the net just a minute and change later when Jackson Doucet found a loose puck below the goal line off a Paul Selleck faceoff win that he put to the top of the crease for Stephen Castagna, who one-timed it past the pad of Chapman to make it 3-1 at 5:41 of the second. There would be no scoring throughout the remainder of the period, but not for a lack of chances or excitement. The Bulldogs were penalized when Castagna clipped feet with Chapman below the goal line in the Grizzlies end when no initial penalty was called by the Referees, but a call was manufactured afterwards. The Bulldogs killed it, and also came close twice while shorthanded to getting within a goal, with Chapman again leaving his net to play it, turning it over to the slot, and in desperation to return to his net trip up Cole Poliziani as the crowd erupted and a pair of spectacles found their way onto the ice. The Bulldogs had several near misses around the net, but in the end they stayed misses as they couldn't get a bounce and Chapman was equal to the task. John Hawthorne was as well, as he came up with a big save on Jamie Rome alone in the slot with just over five minutes to play in the period to keep it 3-1 after 40 minutes. Shots were 15-12 Grizzlies in the period, for a 30-24 advantage for them after two periods.

The Bulldogs showed a desperate jump to their step early in the third, and quickly made a game of it as Stephen Castagna blocked a pass just outside the Victoria line that was found by Jackson Doucet. He gained the line up the right wing and walked into the top of the circle where he ripped a high hard one that appeared to go off the helmet of Chapman before ending up behind him and over the line to ignite the building and make it 3-2 at 4:22 of the third. The intensity was incredible over the following minutes, and the action fantastic as the Dogs pressed and the Grizzlies held on against the momentum. The Bulldogs had a couple painfully close bids on loose pucks at the side of the net that looked promising, but failed to find the net. The Dogs pulled their goalie for the extra attacker with just under two minutes to play. They generated a couple opportunities around the net and had pressure in the zone but couldn't generate a clean look before the last man back at the attacking line lost control of the puck to allow Cameron Thompson an empty net breakaway from his own zone to make it 4-2 Grizzlies, un-assisted at 18:40.

Third period shots were 9-9, for a game total of 39-33 Grizzlies. Both teams went 0 for 1 on the power play. Kurtis Chapman picked up the win while John Hawthorne took the loss.

With the win, the Grizzlies have forced a Game 7 tomorrow in Victoria at 2:00pm. Which will feel earlier - don't forget to set your clocks ahead an hour tonight!



There has never been a subscription fee for this blog - and there never will be, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much. *

*As eloquently said by Gregg Drinnan of Taking Note - the best hockey/sports blog around

No comments: