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Friday, February 01, 2019

Bulldogs snap streak, top Kings 3-2

The start saw the Kings have a good chance in the opening minute and change as Ben Thomas drove the net untouched, but John Hawthorne got his left toe out to keep it out. The Bulldogs drew a penalty a minute later, but for the most part couldn't gain the attacking zone and earn momentum, although the last half-minute of the advantage showed some promise. The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead quickly afterwards as Jackson Doucet fed the puck back to the right point for Ryan Novecosky who simply put the puck on goal where Ryan Miotto got a stick on it to deflect it inside the post far-side past the blocker of Matteo Paler-Chow at 5:55 of the first. It looked like it was a 2-0 seconds later, but Paler-Chow made a highlight reel save with his glove on a cross-ice set up for Stephen Castagna from Austin Spiridakis. The Bulldogs earned another power play at the midway point of the period, but had the opportunity cancelled out a minute into it when a player leaving the ice had a puck strike his skate leading to a too-many-men penalty. The Kings threatened on the power play, but Hawthorne was solid, and got some help from the post. Mitchel Deelstra would be sent in alone on a breakaway where Paler-Chow managed to just get enough of it with his glove to put it out of play to keep it 1-0. The Kings would reply to tie it late in the frame, as Ben Thomas was again allowed to walk into the deep slot untouched from his left to right where he put a perfectly placed shot against the grain top corner, far-side off the bar and over the blocker of Hawthorne to make it 1-1 at 16:38 of the first, with assists going to Levi Glasman and Ryan Pouliot. The Bulldogs would have another great chance to retake the lead late in the period, but Paler-Chow got his right pad out to stop Keaton Mastrodonato on a breakaway to keep it 1-1 after one. Shots in the period were 11-6 Kings, with the six Bulldog shots coming from no less than three clear-cut or partial breakaways and a one-timer from the slot.

The Bulldogs took the lead back before the second was four minutes old as John Hawthorne played a rim up the near side to Tanner Pochipinksi, who bumped it back deep for Aaron Bohlinger. He would feed it back of the net for Hayden Hurst, who put a quick outlet up the right side for Ethan Jones. He would put a perfect pass up the left wing cross-ice for Pochipinski in full flight where he walked in with a step into the left circle where he made it 2-1 Bulldogs with a perfectly placed top corner, short-side shot over the blocker of Paler-Chow at 3:56 of the second. The Bulldogs pushed for more in the following minutes, but the Kings would counter to tie it against the flow of play on the rush on a Bulldog shot that missed the net at a far angle and rimmed up the near side for Rowan Miller who carried it over the Bulldug line up the right side where he gained the line and dropped it for Christian Buono who was allowed to walk into the deep slot where he used the defenceman as a screen and beat Hawthorne with a low shot inside the post blocker side to make it 2-2 at 8:02 of the second. The Bulldogs earned a power play two minutes later, and connected on it in the dying seconds of the advantage with good patience and pretty puck movement as Evan Googins walked off the left wing wall to the top of the circle before finding Michael Hodge at the bottom of it. He would set up Mitchel Deelstra in the slot, where he beat Paler-Chow with a blast glove side to make it 3-2 Bulldogs at 12:12 of the period. The Bulldogs carried the play into the late stages of the period, spending extended periods of time in the Kings zone due to a series of won board battles, but they couldn't get the insurance marker. The Kings had a fantastic chance to tie the game later in the period, on the unluckiest - or luckiest, depending on which side of the puck one may be one, as Grayson Valente attempted a pass as the last-man-back at the Bulldog line, only to have his stick dissolve in two in his hands. Josh Coblenz would race in alone on a breakaway, but Hawthorne stood tall to get a blocker on it to protect the lead. The Kings would mount a push in the final minute of the period, as the Bulldogs appeared to be waiting for the buzzer, while the Kings were playing to it. They would test Hawthorne no less than half a dozen times from close quarters, but couldn't beat him. Shots in the period were 13-11 Powell River, for a 24-17 Kings advantage after 40 minutes.

The third period saw the Bulldogs come out hitting on the opening shift, with a high pace of play through the midway point of the period and each side having their chances but the goalies not blinking. The Bulldogs had a glorious chance to get the insurance marker while on the penalty kill in the back half of the period as Austin Spiridakis did a lap of the zone before sending Stephen Castagna in alone, but Paler-Chow kept it out. The Bulldogs pushed and had two great chances called back on breakaway passes at the blue line, before Paler-Chow made a nifty poke check on a 2 on 1 to keep it a one-goal game. The Kings would push into the late stages, but the Bulldogs didn't give up much in protecting their lead and supporting Hawthorne into the final two minutes. The Kings would have a series of chances with their goalie out for the extra attacker all the way to the buzzer, coming as close as hitting the post in the slot but being unable to get a bounce as the Bulldogs blocked two more attempts to the buzzer to secure the win, with a final play standing out that saw Stephen Castagna block a cross-crease pass and clear the zone.

Third period shots were 16-10 Kings, for a game total of 40-27 Kings, with John Hawthorne earning 2nd star honours with Matteo Paler-Chow taking the loss. The Bulldogs went 1 for 4 on the power play, while the Kings went 0 for 2.

The Bulldogs are next in action Wednesday night when they visit the Clippers in Nanaimo.



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