The Bulldogs got off to a great start with several pucks on net on the opening shift of the game. The Smoke Eaters countered on the rush a minute later, with Cole Demers making a great save on Bryce Anderson. The Bulldogs continued to push the pace and put pucks on net, but the good start was quickly erased by back to back penalties where the Bulldogs were careless with their sticks, clipping Smoke Eaters up high. The Bulldogs would kill off the 5 on 3 of 1:07 in duration, with Demers making a handful of big saves, including one of a highlight reel variety diving on his stomach to get his glove up to rob Tyler Ghiradosi of what was a completely wide open net. It would be all for naught unfortunately, as the Smoke Eaters found the net seconds later to open the scoring as a shot was stopped off a deflection before ending up at the side of the net where Tyler Ghiradosi found it and lifted it home before Demers could recover. Trevor Zins drew the lone assist at 7:18 of the first. The Bulldogs didn't appear to be deflated, as they kept their foot on the gas and were rewarded with a power play when Dawson Tritt was tripped up after chipping it at neutral ice past the last man back. The Bulldogs would make it count, as Aaron Bohlinger set up Darren Rizzolo at the top of the point, where he slid it over to Isaac Tonkin-Palmer at the top of the left circle. He would blast a one-timer on net that was stopped by Tanner Marshall, but Mitchel Deelstra fired the rebound home for his third in three straight games to tie it at 1-1 at 9:55 of the first. The Bulldogs continued to push and generate chances, with Marshall coming up big to keep it tied. The Bulldogs would somehow end up with the extra penalty when the dust settled, as the Smokies went to the power play late in the frame. The Bulldogs killed it off, and came painfully close to getting the go-ahead goal as Mitchel Deelstra slid the puck across the crease for Dawson Tritt, who couldn't get a stick on it cleanly to jam it home. Shots in the first were 15-14 Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs had another fantastic chance to take the lead two minutes into the second, but Tanner Marshall stared down Isaac Tonkin-Palmer on a breakaway with a big glove save. The Bulldogs would be penalized short of the midway point of the period, but again came up with a big kill to keep it 1-1. Marshall would again come up with a big save with his glove at it's conclusion on Nicholas Seitz on a 2 on 1 rush. The Bulldogs would continue to carry the bulk of the play, but they couldn't take the lead. The Smoke Eaters instead would cash in to go up 2-1, as Cole Demers made a good first save on Diarmad DiMurro, but he couldn't recover back to the post before Carter Jones tucked it home on a wrap around at 15:38 of the second. The Bulldogs would earn a power play a minute and change later on a dust up after an Isaac Tonkin-Palmer check on Jeremy Smith, that saw Smith jump up and chase him down to retaliate. The Dogs couldn't capitalize on it though, as the Smoke Eaters held the lead into the third. Shots in the period were 11-5 Bulldogs, for a 26-19 Bulldog lead after 40 minutes.
The Bulldogs began the third with another Grade A scoring chance on the rush, as Ryan Miotto put a Keaton Mastrodonato pass low on net, with Marshall coming up with a pad save but giving up a big rebound. Jackson Doucet would walk in alone on it, but Marshall somehow out-waited him and got something on it to protect the lead. The pace continued to be high through the back-half of the period, with the Bulldogs appearing to tie it for a fleeting moment but the goal was waved off on contact on the goaltender in the crease as it stayed 2-1. The Bulldogs just kept pushing, and would get rewarded for it at the end of a long shift in the attacking zone that saw Keaton Mastrodonato do a good job to retreive a loose puck off a failed one-timer set up by Ryan Novecosky to feed it back to the left point for Grayson Valente. He would blast a puck at the net that hit something and bounce into the air where Keaton Mastrodonato baseball-ed it to tie the game at 2-2 at 14:39 of the third. The Bulldogs attacked off the ensuing face-off, and the Smokies held on to force a draw in their end. It would end up in the back of the net just 1:01 later as Ryan Miotto won the draw back to Aaron Bohlinger, who put a quick release high short-side off the post and in past the glove of Marshall to make it 3-2 Bulldogs at 15:40 of the third. The Dogs wouldn't be able to find any insurance, and the Smoke Eaters didn't quit, as they pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and forced overtime when Trevor Zins took a feed at the line from Carter Jones that he somehow found a way to get on net through a maze of bodies and past the blocker of Demers to tie it at 3-3 at 19:30 of the third. Shots in the third were 15-5 Bulldogs, for a 60 minute total of 41-24 Bulldogs.
Overtime was a clinic, with the Smoke Eaters barely touching the puck as the Dogs out shot them 6-0 and had a pair of fresh legs against a tired trio running around their zone that led to Ryan Miotto taking a crack on net after Keaton Mastrodonato and Aaron Bohlinger were both stopped by Marshall. Miotto would beat his man through the left circle to drive in on net where Marshall made the first save, but Miotto stuck with it and poked the rebound home for the game winner and the 4-3 final.
Final shots were 47-24 Bulldogs, with Cole Demers earning 2nd star honours with the win while Tanner Marshall took 1st star honours with the loss. The Bulldogs went 1 for 2 on the power play, while Trail was 0 for 4.
The Bulldogs are next in action Friday in Victoria, before returning home to host the Grizzlies on Saturday.
Have a great Thanksgiving weekend,