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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Bulldogs top Eagles 5-3 in Surrey

The pace was good both ways early, after a delay to start the game due to ice and zamboni issues. The Eagles had the first two opportunities on net, with John Hawthorne equal to the task. The Bulldogs were unable to push offensively before the Eagles opened the scoring as Spencer Hora took a high hit at the Bulldog line that appeared to stun him. He never recovered before the puck was in the back of the net as Ty Westgard put a shot on goal that was stopped by Hawthorne, but the Eagle Forward in Chase Stevenson out fought the Bulldog in front to lift it by Hawthorne to make it 1-0 at 3:38 of the first, with Eric Linell also drawing an assist. The Bulldogs were penalized twice consecutively throughout the middle stages of the period, with the Eagles threatening but Hawthorne coming up with a handful of big saves on Eric Linell, Liam Ryan and Chase Stevenson in tight to keep it 1-0. The Bulldogs earned a power play of their own later in the period, but couldn't cash in on it or generate a Grade A chance. The Bulldogs finished the period strong, hemming the Eagles in their end for the final minute and change but they couldn't find the net before the buzzer. Shots on goal in the first were 12-8 Eagles.

The second period saw the Bulldogs come out with a good jump to their step early, generating a couple good chances both on the rush, and on extended shifts in the attacking zone. They continued to be unable to generate much in the way of scoring chances to break the deadlock, as it remained a 1-0 Eagles lead through the midway point of regulation. As the period wore on, the Bulldogs continued to to all the right things, pushing the pace and putting pucks on net that ended up in chances that failed to go in. They kept at it, and were finally rewarded with four minutes to play in the period as Mitchel Deelstra took a Stephen Castagna pass over the Eagles line up the left wing. His initial bid was blocked, but he stayed with it and from below the goal line found Isaac Tonkin-Palmer driving the net. His first chance was blocked, but he refused to give up on it, managing to backhand toe the puck top corner over a fallen Cayden Bailey to tie it at 1-1 at 15:40 of the second. The Bulldogs had a couple great chances in tight over the following minutes, but were unable to take the lead as it remained 1-1 after 40 minutes. Shots in the period were 15-10 Bulldogs, for a 23-22 Bulldogs advantage after two periods.

The Bulldogs began the third the way the ended the second, carrying the better of the play and having good chances around the Eagle net, but Cayden Bailey kept it a 1-1 game. The Eagles would then take a 2-1 lead against the flow of play when a big hit by a Bulldog defender at their line saw blown coverage result in a pass from below the goal line to the deep slot that was one-timed by Hawthorne's glove by Chase Stevenson to make it 2-1 Eagles at 5:54 of the third. The Bulldogs failed to let it to them, as just eight seconds later it was a tie game as Aaron Bohlinger took a cheap hit without the puck at centre after he passed ahead for Isaac Tonkin-Palmer. He would gain the Eagles zone and find Stephen Castagna at the bottom of the right circle, where he in turn dished off to Mitchel Deelstra in the deep slot where he made no mistake in ripping one high over Bailey for his first as a Bulldog to tie it at 2-2 at 6:04 of the third. Brayden Shaw would be whistled for a major penalty on the his on Bohlinger for charging, putting the Bulldogs immediately on the power play. The first couple of minutes didn't look especially good, but the Bulldogs persisted to make it count as Evan Googins walked from the right wing behind the net and out to the left circle where he attempted to put the puck across the crease where it hit an Eagle leg and slid home five hole on Bailey to make it 3-2 at 9:35 of the third, with assists to Marcus Walter and Austin Spiridakis. The Bulldogs would play well with their lead into the late stages of the third when they were awarded a power play on an after the whistle skirmish around their net. They would make it count to open up a 4-2 lead as Aaron Bohlinger and Darren Rizzolo worked the puck around up top before setting up Evan Googins at the top of the right circle where he walked into the faceoff dot and ripped a shot far-side off the post and in past Bailey for his second of the game and a 4-2 lead at 16:49 of the third, on the power play. The Bulldogs wouldn't have long to think about their lead, as they were penalized on the following shift. The Eagles would gamble on the power play, pulling their goalie to make it a 6 on 4 advantage. The gamble paid off, as Ryan Miley simply put a puck at the net that caromed off a Bulldog leg and in past Hawthorne to make it 4-3 with 2:43 to play, with Ty Westgard drawing the only assist. The Bulldogs showed no sign of panic over the following minute, protecting their net and not giving up much. Into the final minute of play, Spencer Hora put the puck deep in the Dogs zone and fought an Eagle off of it to allow Ryan Miotto to carry the puck back of the goal where he rimmed it up the left side for Jackson Doucet. He made no mistake in chipping the puck to neutral ice, where Keaton Mastrodonato found it and spun and fired to hit the empty net to seal the deal and make it 5-3 Bulldogs at 19:07 of the third to complete the scoring.

Third period shots were 12-8 Bulldogs, for a game total in their favour of 35-30, with John Hawthorne earning the win in net while Cayden Bailey took the loss. The Bulldogs went 2 for 4 on the power play, while the Eagles were 1 for 4.

The Bulldogs are next in action Friday at home, when they host the Merritt Centennials.



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