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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Comeback falls short as Bulldogs drop 4-3 decision to Vees

The intensity was high from the opening puck drop, with the Bulldogs having the first opportunity but the Vees instantly responding with a plethora of pucks on net, leading to a 1-0 lead just over three minutes in as a shot missed the net short-side and bounced off the end wall and out to the far side where Lukas Sillinger found it and lifted it over the glove of a diving Cole Demers. Assists went to Ryan Sandelin and David Silye. The Bulldogs responded well to the goal against, pushing right and spending time in the attacking zone, but being unable to get a Grade A chance to beat LaFontaine. They would be penalized on a tough one soon afterwards, on a trip behind the Penticton net. Just 15 seconds into the power play it was 2-0 as a quick cross-ice pass to the side of the crease was put across the paint to the far post where Evan McIntyre banged it home. Assists on the play went to Luke Loheit and Massimo Rizzo. The Bulldogs once again responded and pushed in the Vees zone, but it became 3-0 at 6:58 of the first when Mason Snell walked into the right side of the slot where he scored on a short-side slapper past the glove of Demers, with Loheit and Brendan Harrogate assisting. Again the Bulldogs didn't let the score deflate them, as they kept pushing the pace and came painfully close to getting on the board when Mitchel Deelstra found a loose puck off a hit thrown by Isaac Tonkin-Palmer and walked in alone where he beat LaFontaine but hit the crossbar and it stayed out. A minute later it was 4-0 as a stuff in attempt was stopped by Demers from below the line, but the rebound was found and fired home by Lukas Sillinger. Ryan Sandelin and James Miller assisted at 13:08 of the first as John Hawthorne entered the game in relief. There would no scoring for the remainder of the first, with the Vees coming close in the late stages by hitting the post, before the Bulldogs countered in the dying seconds with LaFontaine making a save on a Mitchel Deelstra drop pass in the hashmarks before the buzzer. Shots after 20 minutes were 16-15 Bulldogs.

The Vees earned back to back power play chances in the first five minutes of the second, coming close again by hitting the post behind Hawthorne but being unable to cash in on the chances with the Bulldogs doing a good job defending. The Bulldogs would earn back to back power play chances later in the period, and made the second one count late in the advantage as Ryan Miotto fed Keaton Mastrodonato on the goal line near side where he put a perfect pass out front to Dawson Tritt, who beat LaFontaine high glove side to make it 4-1 at 16:31 of the second. The Vees were whistled for too-many-men with under two minutes to play in the frame and the Bulldogs again threatened but couldn't make it a two-goal game heading into the third. Shots in the period were 11-11, for a 27-26 Bulldog advantage after 40 minutes. 

The Bulldogs again started strong in the third, but couldn't trim the deficit through the five minute mark. They kept at it, finally being rewarded for their efforts seconds after a great chance for Michael Hodge on an Evan Googins set up missed the net, Hodge was found by Ryan Novecosky in the far circle off a Grayson Valente D-to-D pass that he rifled home short-side on LaFontaine to make it 4-2 at 9:02 of the third. A fantastic chance seconds later saw Mitchel Deelstra walk in with a step up the left wing, but he missed the net high short-side. Preceeding that chance, was a high-stick by Deelstra that went undetected by the two Referees. As play continued both Deelstra and a Vees forward leaned on a puck battle that saw Deelstra deemed to be guilty of tripping. Following that call, the Linesman assisted the Referees in calling the missed high-stick, resulting in the as of yet unseen by me triple minor to Deelstra, putting the Vees to a six minute power play. The Bulldogs killed it all into the final minute and change before drawing a penalty with a stick across the face of Stephen Castagna. After four-aside hockey, the Bulldogs went to the power play and called time out with just over four minutes to play in advance of a neutral zone faceoff. They would make it a one-goal game on the abbreviated power play as Dawson Tritt banked it back to the left point for Jackson Doucet. He and Aaron Bohlinger would play catch before switching up as Bohlinger took a Jackson Doucet pass on the left side that he abolsutely hammered home with a one-timer high short-side past the blocker of LaFontaine to make it 4-3 at 16:15 of the third to make it 4-3. That's as close as they would come, as the Vees made the lead stand to the buzzer despite a desperate attack.

Shots in the third were 12-12 for a game total of 39-38 Bulldogs, with Cole Demers taking the loss giving up fouer goals on thirteen shots in 13:08 of work before John Hawthorne entered the game in relief while Jack LaFontaine earned the win. The Bulldogs went 2 for 5 on the power play while the Vees went 1 for 6.

The Bulldogs are next in action tomorrow afternoon when they host the Surrey Eagles.


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