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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Dogs drop third straight, 5-2 to Grizzlies

The game was played at breakneck speed early, with the Grizzlies having a great initial push before the Bulldogs countered, as Dawson Tritt stole the puck from Alex Newhook for a partial breakaway that missed the target. The Bulldogs had a great chance a few minutes later, when Josh Zary set up Ethan Jones in the slot, but Kurtis Chapman made a good save. The Bulldogs would push the pace, and after a couple near-misses on pass attempts on the rush, it was incredibly similar plays on back to back instances that saw them build a 2-0 lead by the midway point of the first. On the 1-0 goal Jackson Doucet retrieved a loose puck on the left wing wall and put it back to the left point for Grayson Valente. He would get a low shot through on Chapman, who gave up a rebound that was one-timed home by Keaton Mastrodonato driving the net at 7:33 of the first. Just 2:06 later it was 2-0 as Mitchel Deelstra played a Stephen Castagna pass back to the right point for Ryan Novecosky who again put the puck on goal where it changed direction off something to beat Chapman at 9:39 of the first. The Grizzlies would push through the back half of the period, with Hawthorne coming up with a handful of big saves to keep them off the board, but a 2 on 0 breakaway was too much to handle as Edward Yan was sent in alone by Stephen Konroyd where Hawthorne got a piece of it, but not enough of it as it was 2-1 at 15:45 of the first. The Grizzlies earned a power play a minute later, and had several great chances but Hawthorne was sharp to come up with big saves on Cameron Thompson and Cole Noble to protect the lead through the first. Shots after one were 17-10 Grizzlies.

Hawthorne was again solid to open the second, as the Grizzlies threw eight shots on net to the Bulldogs zero through the opening five minutes, with the most notable save on Edward Yan on a backdoor one-timer. The Grizzlies kept carrying the play, and earned a power play opportunity on a sequence that saw a borderline hit on a Bulldog go un-called before they ended up in the penalty box on a battle at the front of the net seconds later. The Grizzlies made quick work on it as Alex Campbell set up Alex Newhook at the bottom of the right circle, where he made a quick cross-ice pass onto the tap of Riley Hughes in the left side of the slot where he one-timed it home low, short-side before Hawthorne could get over to make it 2-2 at 8:44 of the second. The Bulldogs would almost instantly earn a penalty off the next draw, but would give up a shorthanded breakaway a half minute into the opportunity that saw John Hawthorne come up big on Alex Newhook. It turned into a 5 on 3 advantage for over a minute on the next play, as Kurtis Chapman was called for delay of game. The Bulldogs weren't sharp on the opportunity, with Hawthorne called on again, making a big save on Cameron Thompson on a 2 on 1 rush to keep it tied. The Grizzlies would take the lead after killing it off on the rush leaving their zone as the Dogs were a step behind and gave up another breakaway that saw Alex Campbell take a Ryan Nolan pass at the Bulldog line and skate in alone where he beat Hawthorne five-hole to make it 3-2 at 13:56 of the second, with Charlie Campbell also drawing an assist. The Bulldogs gave up another 2 on 1 off the following centre ice face-off seconds later, with Hawthorne again coming up with the save to keep it 3-2. The Bulldogs earned a power play later in the period, and looked better on it at least getting pucks on net and testing Chapman but being unable to get the equalizer. The Grizzlies earned another power play late in the period, with the Bulldogs killing it to the buzzer. Shots in the period were 20-9 Grizzlies, for a 37-19 advantage after 40 minutes.

The Bulldogs killed off the remainder of the penalty to open the third, with Hawthorne making another great save after it's conclusion on an Alex Newhook rebound at the side of the net. They would almost instantly end up back in the box again, but again killed it off with Hawthorne continuing to be busy, and sharp. The Grizzlies would get an insurance marker later in the period, on an ill-advised pass to the middle of the zone that resulted in a breakaway from the hashmarks for Marty Westhaver that again saw Hawthorne get a sizable chunk of the puck, but not enough to keep it out as it flipped up and into the back of the net to make it 4-2, unassisted at  7:10 of the third. The Bulldogs spent the better part of the third defending, and penalty killing. Rare instances in the attacking zone didn't result in attempts on net for the most part, but perhaps one pass too many and a counter the other way that saw the Grizzlies put consistent pucks on net with Hawthorne keeping it respectable into the final two minutes. The Bulldogs earned a late power play, and pulled their goalie to make it a 6 on 4 situation. They came close on a faceoff that saw Jackson Doucet ring a shot off the post but be unable to get a bounce to make it a one-goal game, but the Grizzlies sealed the deal with 3.1 seconds to play when Cameron Thompson hit an empty net from his side of centre to complete the scoring, with Jordan Guiney drawing the lone assist at 19:56 of the third for the 5-2 final.

Third period shots were 20-7 Victoria, for a game total of 57-26 with Kurtis Chapman earning the win while John Hawthorne took the loss, and was somehow left out of the three stars. The Bulldogs went 0 for 4 on the power play, with the Grizzlies going 1 for 5. 

The Bulldogs next see action tomorrow night when they host the Powell River Kings.



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