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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

*UPDATED with Highlights* Bulldogs top Capitals 4-0

The Capitals had several good chances in the opening minute of the game, with John Hawthorne making at least one good save, and Niko Selivanov being set up wide open in tight but missing the target. The Capitals kept up the pressure through the midway point of the period, running up an 11-2 edge in shots with Hawthorne coming up with a couple more big saves in tight to keep it scoreless. The Bulldogs would then open the scoring against the flow of play, as Marcus Walter made two good defensive plays in his end before starting a rush with an outlet pass up the right wing for Evan Googins. Walter would join the rush, and finish it as Googins put a pass from the right wing to the deep slot that went through the legs of Michael Hodge and onto the tape of Walter, who got Pierce Diamond down before putting a picture perfect shot top corner bar-down far side over his glove to make it 1-0 Bulldogs at 11:04 of the first. The Capitals would continue to carry the better of the play through the period with Hawthorne again being tested often, with the most notable save being on Paul Selleck on a one-timer from the hashmarks. The Capitals came close to tying it late in the frame, hitting the post twice on the same shift but not getting a bounce. Shots in the period were 19-5 Capitals.

The trend didn't change early in the second, with the Bulldogs continuing to spend too much time in their zone, and John Hawthorne continuing to shine, as a Bulldog defender fell down chasing back to his zone to retrieve the puck, resulting in Brady Lynn being set up all alone in front on a cross-ice set up that Hawthorne somehow got a piece of with his blocker or goal stick to protect the lead.  The Bulldogs would respond and get their game going in the following minutes, spending back to back shifts in the attacking zone and getting pucks on net to generate momentum, but they couldn't pad their lead. John Hawthorne would make one more jaw-dropping desperation save with four minutes to play in the period, as he first took a hard shot off the face before the Capitals stole the rebound and fed it backdoor. Hawthorne was down and out on the wrong side of the net, but in desperation got his glove or toe up to rob Brady Lynn to stun the building and protect the lead. The Bulldogs earned a power play late in the period, but couldn't cash in on it, before earning another one in the final minute of the period that they threatened on, but again couldn't get a bounce around the net on before time expired as it stayed 1-0 through 40 minutes. Shots in the second were 10-8 Bulldogs, for a two period total of 27-15 Capitals.

The Bulldogs began the third flat on the power play, failing to generate anything in an attempt to get some insurance. John Hawthorne would again come up huge with three or four saves in succession, first in the paint off an end-board bounce off his blocker again on Brady Lynn, followed by a recovery save with his left toe and finally a rebound bid in tight on Niko Selivanov. A minute later, it was 2-0 as Grayson Valente rimmed the puck up the right wing for Evan Googins, who head-manned up the right wing for Dawson Tritt, who fought through centre ice and over the Capitals line up the right wing past Doug Scott to create an odd-man rush that saw him make a perfect feed to the left side of the slot where Michael Hodge one-timed it home to make it 2-0 at 2:51 of the third to provide insurance. The Capitals would earn a power play less than 20 seconds later, but the Bulldogs killed it off without giving up much. The Caps earned another power play short of the midway point of the period, with the Bulldogs again not giving up much and supporting Hawthorne when he was tested to protect the lead. The Capitals would then give the Bulldogs a power play late in the game on an undisciplined penalty that saw Vincent Millette put a long range shot into the body of Hawthorne and then follow it up to the net and throw a dirty hit into the post on an unsuspecting Bulldog defender after the whistle. It took just a handful of seconds to put the game away on the power play as Keaton Mastrodonato won the draw and went to the back post where Aaron Bohlinger set up Ryan Miotto on the right wing wall before he found Mastrodonato off the back post where he absolutely roofed it under the bar over a diving Diamond to make it 3-0 just 10 seconds into the power play at 15:14 of the third. The game was somewhat marred shortly afterwards by a leaping blow to the head of Sam Pouliot resulting in him being down on the ice, a scrap between Marcus Walter and Olivier Gauthier and a five minute major for a blow to the head. The Bulldogs would again connect just seconds into the power play for a final exclamation point, as Grayson Valente took an Austin Spiridakis pass at center and walked down the right side where he snuck one through Diamond short-side from a sharp angle to make it 4-0 at 17:32 of the third to complete the scoring.

Third period shots were 16-10 Capitals for a game total in their favour of 43-25 with John Hawthorne earning first star honours with the win and the shut out while Pierce Diamond took the loss. The Bulldogs went 2 for 5 on the power play while the Capitals were 0 for 2.

The Bulldogs are next in action Saturday night when they host the Penticton Vees.



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