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Sunday, January 06, 2019

Bulldogs run point streak to three, top Rivermen 4-2

Langley came out with an obvious jump to their step in the opening minute and buzzed around the Bulldog zone, but were unable to generate anything on net. The Bulldogs got their feet going and pushed back, but also were unable to generate any early offensive opportunities. The Rivermen would strike first just over seven minutes in, as William Stromp walked untouched on net where Cole Demers made the first save, but the rebound somehow rattled around and ended up in the back of the net. The assists went to Tanner Versluis and Daniel O'neill at 7:06 of the first. The Bulldogs would instantly respond, with Isaac Tonkin-Palmer stealing the puck at the Langley line and immediately attacking the net where he snapped a quick release short-side past the blocker of Shayne Battler to make it 1-1 just 24 seconds later. The Bulldogs had a great chance off the following faceoff to take the lead, but couldn't convert on it. The Rivermen would take the lead back just two minutes later, as the Bulldogs turned the puck over to the middle of the zone on an odd-man rush, resulting in an odd-man rush the other way that saw Cole Demers make the first save, but be unable despite a desperate effort to keep the rebound out as Tanner Versluis beat his man to the slot and fired it home inside the far post to make it 2-1 at 10:32 of the first, with Mark Gallant drawing the lone assist. The Rivermen pushed for insurance on a power play later in the period, but Cole Demers came up with a couple saves to keep it 2-1. Demers came up big again with just over two minutes to play in the period, as he stopped Trevor Ayre on a breakaway to keep the Bulldogs down one after 20 minutes. Shots in the first were 13-7 Langley.

The Bulldogs had a flurry of chances around the Langley net in the first two minutes of the second, but couldn't get a bounce to beat Battler. They earned a power play chance, but promptly gave up a shorthanded 2 on 1 that turned into a breakaway that saw Demers stop Mark Gallant. The Bulldogs threatened around the Langley net in the following minutes, but couldn't find the equalizer. Ethan Leyh had a great chance on a 2 on 1 when two Bulldogs collided at the Langley blue line. Demers would stop Leyh in alone again a few minutes later, and come up with yet another big stop with his shoulder on a wide open Kalen Szeto to keep it 2-1. The Bulldogs would earn a power play late in the period, and looked flat in the opening minute on it, but pushed back to get the equalizer as Keaton Mastrodonato set up Ryan Miotto walking in through the left side of the slot. Battler would make the first save, but couldn't get help on the rebound before Jackson Doucet spun and fired it home from the paint to make it 2-2 at 19:38 of the period. Shots were 8-7 Bulldogs, for a 40 minute advantage for Langley of 20-15.

The Rivermen went to a power play in the opening seconds of the third and again threatened, but Demers and the penalty killers stood tall to keep it tied. Langley learned yet another power play before the middle of the period, but again the Bulldogs stood tall to keep it tied. The Rivermen had another fantastic chance on a rink-wide set up to take the lead, but Demers came up big to rob Trevor Ayre. The puck would end up on the far wall, where Marcus Walter knocked it loose for Aaron Bohlinger, who put a high banker off the glass up the left wing into the Langley zone where Ryan Moon chased it down for a breakaway that he made no mistake on with a quick release long-side past the blocker of Battler to make it 3-2 at 12:17 of the third. Demers would come up another save on another in alone chance for Jake Livingstone to protect the lead. The Rivermen would pull their goalie for the extra attacker with two minutes to play and had a long sequence in the attacking zone that saw a lot of pucks around the net, and a post hit, but they couldn't find the equalizer before Keaton Mastrodonato found a shot block and slid it to Jackson Doucet to exited the zone and hit the empty net to complete the scoring at 19:42 of the third.

Shots in the third were 22-4 Langley, for a game total of 42-19 Rivermen, with Cole Demers earning 3rd star honours with the win while Shayne Battler took the loss. The Bulldogs went 1 for 2 on the power play while the Rivermen went 0 for 3.

The Bulldogs next see action Friday night when they visit the Wild in Wenatchee.



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