Please visit the links and support my friends and supporters!!!

Please visit the links and support my friends and supporters!!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Makin commits to Western Michigan Broncos

(imag: Garrett James)

The fantastic run of news from the Bulldogs organization continues as they announced today that graduating Captain Mitch Makin has secured an NCAA scholarship with the Western Michigan Broncos. Great guy, the epitome of what a Captain should be. Congrats Mitch!



March 30, 2015


Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very proud to announce that captain Mitch Makin has committed to the NCAA Division 1 program of the Western Michigan Broncos.

Makin spent the last three seasons as a Bulldog after being acquired by Kevin Willison from his former team the Olds Grizzlys in exchange for 1994-born defenseman Marc Eremenko.

Makin ended up playing for the Bulldogs in 141 regular season games, contributing 42 goals and 58 assists for a total of 100 points. Moreover, Makin helped lead the Bulldogs to 28 playoff game appearances over his last three seasons.

In 2014/15, Makin was named captain of the Bulldogs. He stepped his game up even more after significant injuries to Evan Tironese and Kurt Gosselin. Since January 1st, Makin led with 34 points in the final 26 regular season games.

Makin is the third Alberni Valley Bulldogs player to join the Western Michigan Broncos in recent years, following in the footsteps of goalie Frank Slubowski and defenseman Kenny Morrison. Slubowski ended up being named to the 2011/12 NCAA (CCHA) All-Rookie Team as well as the NCAA (CCHA) Tournament MVP after guiding the Broncos to the CCHA Championships. Slubowski went on to being named to the NCAA (CCHA) Second All-Star Team in 2012/13. Morrison, who a few weeks ago was signed by the Calgary Flames, also made an impact with the Broncos as he was named to the 2012/13 NCAA (CCHA) All- Rookie Team.

There were several teams that expressed interest in Makin, but Western Michigan became the best fit.

"I would like to thank the Bulldogs organization for everything they have done for me," said Makin. "Special thanks to my parents, coaches Kevin Willison and Adam Hayduk, my billets Larry and Nancy Doucette, Tom McEvay, and to everyone in the Alberni Valley for all the support given to me during my three years in Port Alberni," added Makin. "My experience and memories will last a lifetime. I am fortunate to have played my junior hockey is such an awesome place. I'm excited to attend Western Michigan and play for the Broncos. Thank you to everyone that supported me!"

Makin went on to say that he will especially miss the outstanding fan support that created such an amazing atmosphere for every home game at Weyerhaeuser Arena and how the best fans in the BCHL took that same home ice atmosphere on the road in the playoffs to Victoria's and Nanaimo's rinks.

The entire Alberni Valley Bulldogs family wishes to thank Mitch for his three years of service and wishes him all the best as he continues the next chapter of his hockey career at Western Michigan.

For further information or comment on the above story please contact Alberni Valley
Bulldogs’ head coach and general manager Kevin Willison

To be identified as the next Mitch Makin, Kenney Morrison or Frank Slubowski, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs are hosting two Spring Identification Camps. April 3-5, 2015 in Port Alberni, BC, and May 1-3, 2015 in Osoyoos, BC. Camp information and registration details are available online at

Monday, March 23, 2015

Casey Bailey signs with Maple Leafs, could play this week

More fantastic news came out over the weekend, as fresh off the heels of Kenney Morrison's signing with the Calgary Flames, former Bulldog Casey Bailey signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs after concluding his career with the  NCAA's Penn State Nittany Lions

Read more from the Maple Leafs HERE 

Could he suit up with the Leafs as early as this week? It's a possibility, according to THIS report

I'm very happy for Casey and his family - a great kid and a great family, they are still big Bulldog fans even from afar, with Casey having moved on in 2011. As much as it says something about them, I think it also says something about the Bulldogs organization and the people here, doesn't it?

Best of luck Bails! Can't say how much I appreciated Casey always finding time to do alumni interviews with me each season, despite being incredibly busy going to school and playing hockey.

Here's a video I posted earlier this season, he had a big league shot even then. Enjoy!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Former Bulldog Kenney Morrison signs with Calgary Flames

Huge congrats to former Bulldog Kenney Morrison, who signed a two-year contract yesterday with the Calgary Flames.

Morrison played one season with the Bulldogs in 2010-2011, and it was a memorable one. He was the teams leading scorer for defenceman that season, and also the leading scorer amongst the rookies, earning him the Bulldogs Rookie of the Year award. He spent the following year with the USHL's Omaha Lancers, and the last three with the NCAA's University of Western Michigan Broncos where he was teammates with former Bulldog Frank Slubowski.

Very cool to see a former Bulldog signing with a big league club, congrats Kenney and best of luck!

For the story from Sportsnet, click HERE and for the story from the Flames, click HERE

C'mon though Kenney, anyone but the FLAMES! I'm not a fan...but I guess I am a little bit now!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Bulldogs 2014-2015 Awards

Rookie of the Year -
Chris Schutz

Most Valuable Player - 
Billy Christopoulos

Coaches Award - 
Mitch Makin

Academic Player of the Year -
Eric Margo

Best Defenceman -
Kurt Gosselin

Unsung Hero -
Scottie Clark
Tom McEvay

Most Improved -
Brett Stewart

Community Hero -
Dylan Haugen

Humanitarian -
Scottie Clark
Chris Schutz

Top Scorer -
Mitch Makin

Most Sportsmanlike -
Drew Blackmun

Fan Choice Award - 
Garrett Halls

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dogs magical comeback falls short, Clippers win Game 7

A good start for the Bulldogs, as they managed to get the puck in deep on several instances and get the first couple of shots on net, although no scoring chances. The Clippers would get their first shot just over five minutes into the game. The game was hard fought through the first half of the opening period with the shots even at six-aside. The Bulldogs would open the scoring late in the frame when Drake Brown put an outlet pass from the Dogs zone cross-ice to send Josh Adkins up the right wing through centre. He would drive over the Clippers line and fight off a check to drive in on goal where he fired it by Decelles short-side. Assists on the play somehow went to Justin Marreck and Logan Savard at 14:04 of the first. Just a minute later the Clippers looked to have too many men on the ice, but all four Officials missed it. Just 30 seconds or so later, the Dogs would be penalized. The Clippers would connect on it after a couple good saves by Christopoulos when Nick Gushue walked into the top of the left circle and put a slapper home far side through traffic, blocker side. Brendan Taylor and Anthony Rinaldi picked up the assists on it at 16:24 of the first, with the shots favouring the Clippers 15-9 after 20 minutes.

The Dogs had a good start to the second in the early minutes, but the Clippers put on a push as the period wore on, having a good amount of chances in tight that Christopoulos was razor sharp on, most notably on a one-timer from the hash marks by Spencer Hewson. As the period wore on, it was obvious that the Dogs were labouring and feeling fatigued, but they bent and didn't break and Christopoulos came up huge to keep it at 1-1 after 40 minutes. Shots favoured the Clippers 13-10 in the period for a 28-19 advantage after 40 minutes. The Clippers would pick up a penalty at the 20 minute mark of the period with the Dogs beginning the third on the power play.

The Bulldogs would battle wet ice and didn't look good on their first power play of the game, taking a penalty near the midway mark of it after a good Clipper shot block. The Dogs went to a short 4 on 3 advantage after four-aside hockey when a Dog had a stick slashed out of their hands. They wouldn't be able to generate on the advantage however. The third period would go back and forth over the middle parts of the frame with each team having their chances, but the Clippers having more of the Grade A opportunities. The Bulldogs spent a long time in the attacking zone on a great shift with Marcus Russell, Drew Blackmun and Chris Schutz pushing hard but being unable to find the go ahead marker. Past the midway mark of the period the Dogs had two fantastic looks in the attacking zone but both Garrett Halls and Drew Weich misfired on shot attempts. Cole Maier would block a shot and race up the right wing and put a shot on goal long-side that was turned away by the blocker of Christopoulos. He couldn't control the rebound though, as Nicolas Carrier beat his check to the net and one-timed it home past a sliding Christopoulos who made a desperate bid to get over. The Dogs would have a fantastic chance to tie it when Guillaume Decelles came up with a game-saver point blank on Josh Adkins who was set up all alone in the hash marks. The Dogs came up with a big penalty kill when they were sent to the box with five minutes to go to keep it within a goal, and would then draw a power play with just over a minute to go to make it a 6 on 4 advantage. They had one sharp angle centering bid go through the crease, but that's as close as they would come as the Clippers did a good job to kill it off before they hit the empty net to seal the deal as Spencer Hewson fired it home from the Clipper blue line. The only assist went to Jacob Hanlon at 19:35 to make it 3-1. As has been their hallmark, the Bulldogs refused to quit and valiantly fought to the final buzzer with a series of scrambles in the Nanaimo crease but they couldn't beat Decelles as the Clippers killed the clock.

Final shots favoured the Clippers 40-24 (Dan had the Dogs credited with 31) with Billy Christopoulos taking third star honours with the loss - he was in my opinion without question the 1st star of the game, with Guillaume Decelles picking up the win. The Dogs went 0 for 3 on the power play while the Clippers went 1 for 3.

A heartbreaking loss for the Dogs, but they can certainly hold their heads high with their season and their efforts refusing to quit in the series, only to fall painfully short. I certainly feel for the graduating players, especially the guys that couldn't play due to injury in Kurt Gosselin and Evan Tironese. Best of luck to Drake Brown - boy did he up his game in the Playoffs. Dylan Haugen - what a 20 year old year for him with 19 goals. Mitch Makin - what a leader over his years in a Dogs sweater. Eric Therrien, another guy who upped his game in the Playoffs. Finally, Billy Christopoulos. Amazing performance from him all season, and through the Playoffs. Best of luck at Air Force. Wouldn't be at all surprised to see you playing pro one day.

That's all for now. Best of luck to the Clippers moving forward.

As saddened as I am that the season is done, and as bad as I wanted to see the run continue and a packed Dog Pound, I'm very much looking forward to a lighter work load and more time with my family. 

It's just insane how much time I put into this blog - I love it, and do it for you the fans, the parents,  and the players. But it's a LOT of time that I'm happy I can step away from for a bit. For the first time all year, I'm eating dinner on the bus while it's still warm! Thanks for reading as always, if you appreciate it don't hesitate to click the DONATE button on the right hand side as I would certainly appreciate it, but never expect it. 



Dogs visit Clippers tonight for Game 7, Marcello Ranallo interview

It's the fourth do or die game in a row for the Bulldogs, and the first time that the Clippers face elimination, as the teams meet tonight in the finale of  what has been a fantastic Island Division Semi Final series. The Bulldogs forced this game tonight after winning their third straight last night, 4-3 at a wild and crazy Dog Pound.

The Bulldogs have of course been dealing with all the cliches for a while now, do or die, win or go home, backs against the wall, etc, etc. The Clippers no doubt were feeling the pressure the last couple of games after letting the Dogs back in the series, but it's a whole different level when your season is on the line.

It goes without saying that the Dogs will no doubt have to be at their absolute best if they hope to move on to the Island finals to face Powell River. Being in a do-or-die situation has brought out the best in them, and I expect that the Clippers will bring that same level of desperation that has helped the Dogs get to this point.

Having a 3-0 series lead and being the #1 seed, one has to think that all the pressure is on Nanaimo. It's hard to play that way, but it's also a motivator at the same time. Here's hoping that the Dogs can play loose with that nothing to lose feeling, but also keep up the intensity with the opportunity to pull off the improbable and advance to the next round right in front of them.

While it's always a challenge playing on the road, you can bet that a large contingent of Bulldog fans will be making the trip down to provide some noise and support for the visitors as they always do at the Frank Crane.

If you can't make it to the game, we'll bring it to you on Pacific Chevrolet Bulldogs Hockey on 93.3 The Peak FM starting with our pregame show at 6:45, with the puck drop and play-by-play to follow at 7:00pm. I will call the play-by-play, with Bruce MacDonald and Dan Tisserand providing the colour and analyis and team and player statistics.

If you aren't in radio listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:

Listening Live on your computer:
Listening Live on your SmartPhone :
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone

Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is former Bulldog Marcello Ranallo, who is currently playing and coaching in Italy's Serie A with Cortina SG after a four year NCAA career with the UCONN Huskies.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dogs force Game 7 with third straight win, 4-3 over Clippers

An energetic start to the game was quickly dampened when Mitch Makin was sent to the box just 30 seconds into the game on a boarding call. The Clippers would have two or three good chances, but Billy Christopoulos was sharp to keep it 0-0, most notably on a deflection in front where he kicked out his right toe to keep it out as the Dogs killed it off. The Dogs would score first for the second straight game just two minutes later when Mitch Makin took a Troy Dobbs outlet pass up the right wing and drove wide before throwing a cross-ice pass to the net front that went off Eric Therrien and in to make it 1-0. Guillaume Decelles would be the only Clipper to argue a possible kick in, but the Officials would conference and stick the original call of good goal, at 3:53 of the first. The Dogs would have their chances to build the lead with the momentum gained after the goal, but the Clippers kept it within a goal before drawing another penalty that they would connect on when Nick Gushue fed Brett Roulston on the left half boards where he walked into the circle and banked one in on a screened Christopoulos. Cole Maier picked up the only assist on the play, but that probably should have went to Devin Brosseau, at 11:29 of the first. The Bulldogs would take their second lead of the game late in the period on their second power play goal of the series as Drew Weich put a one-timer on goal from the left point that was tipped home through the legs of Decelles by Marcus Russell in front to make it 2-1 at 17:40 of the first, with the Clippers leading the shots 16-15 after one.

The second period would start with the Clippers having an obvious jump to their step, pushing to get back to even. It wouldn't take long for them to find the equalizer as just two minutes into the period Devin Brosseau roofed a rebound off a Nick Gushue slap shot short-side high past the blocker of Christopoulos to make it 2-2. Jacob Hanlon also picked up an assist on the play at 2:07 of the second. The Dogs would answer just three minutes later on the power play when Brett Stewart set up Mitch Makin in the right circle where he put a shot wide short-side, only to have the end board bounce come out front for Eric Therrien who banked it in off Guillaume Decelles to make it 3-2 at 4:56 of the second. A huge hit just following the goal saw Garrett Halls step up at the Clippers line and flatten Kale Bennett, but seconds later Anthony Rinaldi skated in on a breakaway where Christopoulos made the save to protect the lead. The Dogs would build the lead later in the period on the rush when a Ryan Coghlan shot missed the net short-side and rimmed up the right wing for Josh Adkins. He would put a perfect head-man pass up the middle for Logan Savard, who walked over the Clippers line and ripped a high shot off the blocker shoulder of Decelles. He couldn't control the rebound, and Josh Adkins would beat his check to the net and drill it home into the open side to make it 4-2, with Drew Weich also drawing an assist at 13:53 of the second. An ugly incident two minutes later would see Corey Renwick drive the Bulldogs net and run Billy Christopoulos, drawing a five minute major for the hit. Thankfully, Christopoulos wouldn't be injured. Despite several good looks on the power play, the Dogs couldn't build their lead as it stayed 4-2 after two, with the Dogs out shooting the Clippers 10-7 in the period for a 25-23 advantage after 40 minutes. 

The Clippers would come out to start the third and much like the second got right on the board as Jake Jackson took a rink wide pass and walked over the Bulldogs blue line up the left wing where he snapped one top corner, far-side off the bar and in over the glove of Christopoulos. The only assist went to Ryan Coghlan at 1:44 of the third to make it 4-3. The Clippers would draw a power play shortly afterwards, but the Dogs would quickly even it up when Josh Adkins made a great read to break up a pass and race away on an odd man rush, only to be tackled. The Clippers would earn another power play six minutes into the frame, but the Bulldog defenders came up with a solid kill. The score stayed that way until the late stages of the third with the Dogs protecting the lead and Christopoulos coming up big when needed. The fans in the Dog Pound would be up in arms with three minutes to go when Eric Therrien broke up a play at the line and attempted to race away on an on-man rush, only to get dumped by the Clipper defender. There would be no call, but a 10 minute misconduct afterwards to Therrien. A minute later, Dylan Haugen came up with a solid defensive play to cover at the Offensive blue line. He would then win a race to a loose puck in the Dogs end and get tripped up, drawing a penalty. The Dogs would kill the clock until just under a minute to play, and then draw another penalty - or so they thought, when Yanni Kaldis clipped Josh Adkins on a neutral zone faceoff. The back Referee would call the penalty, and Kaldis would be sent to the box. After a long discussion, Kaldis was freed from the sin bin and the penalty was "uncalled" as the Clippers would pull their goalie to make it a 5 on 5 situation. They would press, but the Dogs would protect the lead and kill the clock for the 4-3 final.

Final shots favoured the Clippers 36-31 with Billy Christopoulos picking up the win while Guillaume Decelles took the loss. The Dogs went 2 for 6 on the power play while the Clippers went 1 for 5.

With the win, the Dogs force a Game 7 tomorrow night in Nanaimo.


Dogs host Clippers tonight for another must win Game 6

(image: Go Alberni)

Another night, and another must-win game for the Bulldogs as they host the Clippers tonight at the Dog Pound for Game 6 of this best of seven Island Division Semi Final series after staving off elimination for the second straight game with a 2-1 win last night in Nanaimo.

A solid effort last night by the Dogs to get it back to the Dog Pound tonight, but last night is just that, LAST night. While the Dogs should no doubt be feeling confident and good about themselves with their recent efforts, they need to remember that it's been nothing short of fantastic desperate efforts that have them in this position. Here's hoping they will still be motivated by the fact that they still face elimination, because you can bet that the Clippers will be wanting to end this tonight and not have to head home for a Game 7 tomorrow. It's not going to be any easier because it's on home ice.

It sure was nice to see the Dogs open the scoring for the first time in the series. While it didn't last long, it was a big key to winning. Another key possibly tonight is finding a way to win the special teams battle. The Dogs have yet to do that in the series, yet they have found a way to win a couple games. 

Ticket sales commence today at 7am, with season ticket holders having until 12 noon to secure their seats. After that they go on sale to the public. Fans are encourage to wear black tonight in support of a "Blackout"
 It will no doubt be rocking at the Dog Pound as we bring you all the action on Van Isle Ford Bulldogs Hockey on 93.3 The Peak FM. The pregame show kicks things off at 6:45, with the puck drop to follow at 7:00pm. I'll call the play-by-play with Bruce MacDonald providing colour and analysis and Dan Tisserand tabulating team and player statistics.

If you aren't in radio listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:

Listening Live on your computer:
Listening Live on your SmartPhone :
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone

Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is former Bulldog Teal Burns, who's off to the CIS National Championship this weekend in his second season with the Guelph Gryphons. 

The Gryphons are on a pretty fun run right now, as I caught up with another former Bulldog there in Tryg Strand last weekend after they had won the OUA Championship - and qualified for the Nationals - by defeating Windsor.

They kept the run going last weekend, beating Trois Rivieres 4-0 in the 104th playing of the Queen's Cup in front of a sell out crowd. I have to post one more picture - the look of joy on the faces of these guys is something else!


Monday, March 09, 2015

Dogs stay alive, top Clippers 2-1, force Game 6 at Dog Pound tomorrow night

A rather tame start to the game from each side as despite it being Game 5 of the series it almost looked as if the teams were feeling each other out. The Dogs had the edge in the play and the shots early, but not much in the way of Grade A chances. Shots favoured the Dogs 8-3 through the media time out at the midway mark of the first. The Clippers would push back with a couple good shifts over the ensuing minutes, but the Dogs held them off the board with Billy Christopoulos making a great save on Brendan Taylor with a half pad stack on a Jake Jackson pass. Late in the period the Dogs went to the net and Guillaume Decelles mishandled covering the rebound. He would indeed find it first, and would proceed to throw a fairly obvious punch with his glove hand on a fallen Bulldog in front of him. It's certainly not a big deal to not call that a penalty, but the Officials bring that non call into the spotlight a bit when minutes later the Dogs get penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for snowing the goalie. The Clippers would have a couple great chances on the advantage, most notably on a short-side miss that resulted in an open net on the end board bounce but Christopoulos made a good save going post to post to keep it out. Shots favoured the Dogs 12-11 after 20 minutes.

The Bulldogs would open the scoring - for the first time in the series - going up 1-0 just inside of five minutes into the second when Mitch Makin knocked a puck out at the Bulldog line and chased up ice on a one-on-one down the left wing. Makin would pound a slapper high on net that Decelles turned aside, but he couldn't control the rebound as Makin found it and centered it gor Garrett Halls who one-timed it home five-hole at 4:39 of the second. The Dogs would press for an insurance marker and came close to finding it but Guillaume Decelles made a fantastic glove save off a Logan Savard one-timer from the deep slot. The Clippers would start to push back after the goal however, and had a couple great chances to even it, but Christopoulos again stood tall, making a highlight reel save diving across the crease to rob Sheldon Rempal on an open net with the back of his glove. The Dogs were penalized soon afterwards, and had done a good job on the kill into the late seconds of it, clearing the zone. Everyone would appear to head off on a change however, and Guillaume Decelles took advantage with a headman pass that sent Yanni Kaldis in on the breakaway where he went backhand-five hole to slide it through Christopoulos for the power play marker at 10:53 of the second to make it 1-1. The Dogs didn't wilt under the pressure, as they pushed back and took the play the other way. They would get rewarded late in the period when Everett Putz swung a cross-ice pass through the slot that tipped off Eric Margo and back to the right point. Garrett Halls would one-time it low at the net where Everett Putz deflected it home short-side on Decelles to make it 2-1 at 19:35 of the second. The period would end with the Clippers being penalized on a neutral-zone interference play. Shots favoured the Clippers 20-12 in the period, for a 31-24 Nanaimo advantage after 40 minutes.

The third period was played fairly tight to the vest, with both sides not giving up much in the way of chances. A very interesting penalty call from the Referee a couple zones away from the incident saw the Dogs go down a man when Dylan Haugen attempted to shoot, Clipped a clipper with his stick, and got clipped himself resulting in Haugen bleeding and possibly missing some teeth. Haugen got the two minutes, but the Dogs came up with a big kill to protect their lead. A Bulldog power play would come soon afterwards, but they couldn't cash in for the insurance marker. The Dogs would hold the lead through the period, again coming up with a huge penalty kill with less than six minutes to play to keep it 2-1. The Clippers would push over the final minute and change with the goalie out for the extra attacker but the Dogs defence and Billy Christopoulos stood tall to kill the clock for the 2-1 final.

Shots favoured the Clippers 41-30 with Billy Christopoulos picking up 2nd star honours with the win while Guillaume Decelles took the loss. The Dogs went 0 for 4 on the power play while the Clippers went 1 for 4.

Game 6 goes at the Dog Pound tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 7pm. Ticket sales begin at the Bulldogs Office at 7am. Season ticket holders have until 12pm to secure their seats. The theme is BLACK OUT, so wear black.

Bulldogs visit Clippers tonight in another must win game 5

It's the same scenario tonight as it was on Saturday night as the Bulldogs visit the Clippers at the Frank Crane Arena for a do or die, win or go home Game 5. The Clippers lead the best of seven series 3 games to 1 after the Dogs staved off elimination with an against all odds 5-4 comeback win in overtime  at the Dog Pound on Saturday night.

Raise your hand if you thought that the Dogs would be playing this game tonight with about five minutes left on Saturday night. Down two goals, down three games in the series, down two players before the game and two more during it and down two men on the ice with the Clippers having a 5 on 3 power play, but the Dogs just refused to pack it in. Incredible things can happen if you simply don't quit in the face of adversity and believe you can do it. Exhibit A - the amazing display we witnessed on Saturday night. Win a game that you never led? That doesn't happen often.

It's no doubt going to take the same effort, or even a better one, if the Dogs want to bring this series back to the Dog Pound for a Game 6 tomorrow. You can bet that the Clippers will have a burr under their saddle after letting that one get away, and you can bet that they really don't want to head back to the Dog Pound. The Dogs just need to want it more.

We'll bring all the action to you live from the Frank Crane Arena on Pacific Chevrolet Bulldogs Hockey on 93.3 The Peak FM tonight with the pregame show getting underway at 6:45 and the puck dropping at 7:00. I'll call the play-by-play while Bruce MacDonald adds the colour and analysis and Dan Tisserand provides the team and player statistics.

If you aren't in radio listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:
Listening Live on your computer:
Listening Live on your SmartPhone :
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone

Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is Alex Rawnsley, the play-by-play voice of the Powell River Kings,
as he'll give us an update on the other Island Division Semi Final series. The Kings took a 3-2 series lead with a 5-1 win yesterday in Powell River. The series is being played under the 2-3-2 format, with it being an off-day today. Game 6 is in Victoria tomorrow, and the Grizzlies will also host Game 7 on Wednesday night if it's needed.


Saturday, March 07, 2015

Never say die Dogs force Game 5 with 5-4 OT comeback win over Clippers

The Bulldogs didn't wilt under the pressure of facing elimination, as they were fantastic throughout the early stages of the third period in controlling the bulk of the play and running up an 11-1 edge in shots through the first half of the opening period. Despite the great start, they weren't able to open the scoring as the Clippers were awarded a power play late in the frame for the second time in the game and connected on it as Brendan Taylor was found by Jake Jackson walking down the right wing where he got in tight on Christopoulos and fired it home to make it 1-0 at 17:17 of the first. The Dogs would answer back just 43 seconds later as a stick lift at the Clippers line by Eric Therrien allowed Mitch Makin to pick off a pass and skate in alone on a breakaway where he beat Decelles with a quick release from the hash marks far-side past his blocker to make it 1-1 at the 18:00 mark of the first and into period two. The Dogs led the shots 18-6. 

As much as the Dogs controlled the play and had the jump in the first, the Clippers answered back and had the better of the play early in the second. They would take the lead back just short of six minutes into the period on a terrible turnover by a Dogs defender as an up the middle pass was picked off at the side of the net by Ryan Forbes who went cross-crease for Spencer Hewson who one-timed it into the open side with Christopoulos having no chance on it as it was 2-1 at 5:53 of the second. The Dogs would have their chances on the power play to get back into it on two separate opportunities, including a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct against the Clippers, but they were unable to capitalize. Just seconds later it was 3-1 Clippers as they scored on a 3 on 3 rush when Nicolas Carrier beat his check to the net to tip home a Brett Roulston centering pass at 14:26 of the period. The Dogs would take a penalty on the goal, but managed to kill it to keep within two. They would draw a penalty shortly afterwards, but lost the advantage just four seconds into it when Tyler Povelofskie was ejected for a hit from behind on Nick Gushue. The Bulldogs would answer during four-on-four hockey when Mitch Makin went end to end on a Brett Stewart breakout pass up the left wing where he cut in on goal and snuck it low inside the far post past Decelles to make it 3-2 at 18:06 of the second. The Clippers would get a great chance to take the two goal lead back with 8 seconds to play in the period when Brett Roulston was awarded a penalty shot after getting touched on a breakaway. Billy Christopoulos would out-wait him as Roulston stick handled himself off the puck as it stayed 3-2 Clippers after 40 minutes. The shots favoured the Clippers 16-10 in the second, and the Bulldogs 28-22 on the game.

The Dogs came out with a  good jump to start the third period, but despite several chances couldn't get the equalizer. They would earn a power play two minutes into the frame, but turned the puck over at the blue line and had to take a penalty as a result as it was back to four-on-four hockey. The Dogs would draw another one and went to a four on three advantage, but they couldn't capitalize. The Clippers would push with the Dogs bench getting shorter when Eric Therrien was ejected, going up 4-2 on a deflection in front by Sheldon Rempal off a Nick Gushue point shot. Brendan Taylor also picked up an assist on the play at 8:28 of the third as the Clipper fan section celebrated by throwing an orange coloured broom on the ice to celebrate the series sweep. More on that later. The Dogs would find themselves in penalty trouble throughout the remainder of the third as they ended up down a man on three different occasions, including a Clipper 5 on 3 with less than four minutes to play. The Dogs would kill it to keep in the game, and all of a sudden cue a only in the Dog Pound moment. The Dogs would dump it in and in the process of pulling the goalie they made it 4-3 as Guillaume Decelles went out to play it and got caught and Chris Schutz would find it in the right circle and one-time it home into the empty net at the 18:23 mark of the third. It would take 11 seconds for the game to be tied as the roof nearly came off the building as Chris Schutz found a rebound in the slot off a Mitch Makin shot that he lifted home top corner, far-side past the blocker of Decelles at 18:34 to make it 4-4 and force overtime, with the Clippers out shooting the Dogs 14-13 in the third for a 41-26 Dogs advantage after 60 minutes.

Overtime would see the Clippers put on a good push early, with the Dogs pushing back and getting into the game despite the short bench. Each team would have their chances as the period wore on, with the Clippers getting a couple of point-blankers on Christopoulos where he made highlight reel saves on both Brett Roulston and Spencer Hewson to keep the game going. With double OT looming the Dogs would win it off a draw outside the Nanaimo line as Mitch Makin won it back for Eric Margo who used great speed to walk over the Clipper line down the right wing into the top of the circle where he snapped one home through the legs of Decelles to set off a wild celebration in the building as the Dogs poured off the bench.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 51-47 with Billy Christopoulos picking up 2nd star honours with the win while Guillaume Decelles took third star honours with the loss. The Dogs went 0 for 8 on the power play while Clippers went 1 for 7.

A final footnote to the broom - it was quite a moment when Mitch Makin came out to take a bow with it in his hand as he was being named as the first star of the game.

Game 5 goes Monday at the Frank Crane. 


Dogs host Clippers tonight for do or die Game 4, Johnny Rogicinterview, Tailgate party

It's a do-or-die win or go game tonight for the Bulldogs as they host the Nanaimo Clippers in Game 4 of this best-of-seven Island Semi Finals series as they trail the Clippers 3 games to 0 after dropping another heart breaker last night 4-3.

Break out all the cliches, buzzwords, words of wisdom etc. Win or go home, do or die, it takes four to win a series, backs against the wall, you can't win four tonight, the fourth one is the toughest and on and on.

You can't blame the Bulldogs or their fans for that matter if they would be feeling down, defeated, feeling the end etc. When facing elimination and a hole in a series it's impossible for those thoughts not to come into play, just human nature. The only thing you can do is shelf it and forget it and use it for fuel and motivation to go out and win a game. Or it will be the end.

I think the Dogs should be proud of their effort last night in a losing cause, and can take some confidence from it as hard as the end result was to take. They battled back from a two goal deficit, and I think that shows a lot about their character because it couldn't have been easy to find themselves down 2-0 in the game last night while they were down 2-0 in the series and on playing on home ice. They bent but didn't break at a lot of instances where they could have with the pressure they faced and the circumstances they faced last night. An early power play against and several more through the second when they were down a couple goals. As frustrating and disheartening the end result would be they could have given up another one to fall into a 3-0 hole and it might have been game over. I was impressed that they gave themselves a chance by fighting back while scoring a power play goal for the first time while also beating Decelles three times in a game for the first time.

You can't blame the Clippers for being confident in accomplishing this series lead while winning three straight games as they haven't trailed once. They have scored first every night and have won the special teams battles every night which are huge keys to winning.

It's certainly going to be a battle and it sure was fun to have Playoff hockey back at the Dog Pound last night. Here's hoping the Dogs can simply just believe and find the motivation to play for the fans, each other, the 20 year olds etc to get a chance to keep their season going and force a Game 5 in Nanaimo on Monday night.

Van Isle Ford Bulldogs Hockey on 93.3 The Peak FM starts with the pregame show at 6:45 up to the 7:00 puck drop. I'll call the play-by-play while Bruce MacDonald adds the colour and analysis and Dan Tisserand compiles team and player stats.

If you aren't in radio listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:

Listening Live on your computer:
Listening Live on your SmartPhone :
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone www.fasthockey.com74

Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is former Bulldog Johnny Rogic, who is playing his first season after a professional with the ECHL's Quad City Mallards after four years with the NCAA's RPI Engineers.

Ashleigh Clark will be broadcasting live on 93.3 The Peak FM starting at 4pm this afternoon from the pregame tailgate party with a BBQ to benefit Kidsport, live music from Lance Lapointe and road hockey for the kids! Sounds fun!


Friday, March 06, 2015

Clippers take 3-0 series lead with 4-3 win in a nasty one

A spirited start to this contest, with the Dogs having a good chance on a Mitch Makin rush in the early seconds of the game. After that it was all Clippers, with Billy Christopoulos making a fantastic save on Brett Roulston on a cross-ice pass on a 2 on 1 rush. The Clippers would keep up the pressure and throw a bunch of pucks on net, with Christopoulos looking sharp. The Dogs would end up spending too much time in their zone, and took a penalty as a result. While the Clippers pressed, the Dogs killed it off to keep it scoreless. A Bulldog power play would come shortly afterwards when Spencer Hewson drove the Dogs net an appeared to deliberately run Christopoulos. While they had good zone time, the Dogs were unable to get any pucks on net on Guillaume Decelles. Another Bulldog power play came later in the period, but again the Dogs couldn't generate much in the way of chances, although they did a better job of moving the puck around and attempting shots. Immediately after the Dogs power play, the Clippers were given a chance of their own. While the Dogs killed it, they couldn't clear the zone and the Clippers went up 1-0 just eight seconds later as Brett Roulston found Nicolas Carrier wide open between the hashmarks where he went top corner, glove side on Christopoulos with a beautiful shot at 16:08 of the first. The Clippers took a 1-0 lead to the roo after one, and a 19-11 edge in the shots.

The second period saw the Bulldogs penalized inside the first two minutes on what was an odd call simply that the Referee watched the play and put his arm up late. The Clippers would take advantage of the opportunity early as just seconds into it they went up 2-0 on a 2 on 1 rush as Brett Roulston kept the puck up the right wing and fired a perfect shot top corner, short-side under the crossbar and over the glove of Christopoulos. Assists on the play went to Cole Maier - and I thought Edwin Hookenson deserved one as well, 2:19 into the second. The Dogs would fail to answer on a power play chance of their own just a minute and change later, and then would keep the Clippers off the board on another power play advantage for them with Billy Christopoulos making a highlight reel save going post to post to get his glove up and rob Nicolas Carrier on a wide open net. The Dogs would get on the board after yet another kill to keep themselves within striking distance as Drew Weich blocked a shot in front of the Dogs net, and Tyler Povelofskie dove in desperation to swipe it ahead for Eric Therrien behind the Clippers defence out of the penalty box. Therrien would connect with a pretty move on the breakaway, faking backhand and then tucking it home inside the post to make it 2-1 at 13:14 of the second. Any momentum gained was quickly gone as the game ground to a hault with nine - yes NINE penalties called in the next 1:01 of game time as things got silly on several occasions. The Dogs would battle back to tie it up on a faceoff in the Nanaimo end as Mitch Makin tied it up before it bounced to the net front where Chris Schutz fired a quick backhand low, glove side on Decelles to make it 2-2 at the 17:00 mark of the second. An undisciplined penalty would come back to haunt the Dogs late in the period, as the Clippers went to the man advantage where they scored for the second time in the game with just 16 seconds left in the period as Kale Bennett picked the top corner, far-side over the glove of a screened Christopoulos from the top of the left circle. Assists on the play went to Cole Maier and Jacob Hanlon at 19:44 of the second for a 3-2 Clippers lead after 40 minutes. The Dogs out shot the Clippers 21-10 on the period, for a 32-29 advantage heading into the third.

The Clippers would double the lead just inside of three minutes into the third period on a perfectly weighted indirect pass by Austin Dick who was simply clearing it out of his zone of the right halfboards from the slot. It would bank into the Dogs end perfectly into the deep slot where Jake Jackson skated onto it for the breakaway where he scored on a pretty move similar to Eric Therrien's as he faked cutting across the crease before going back against the grain to tuck it in past Christopoulos. The only assist on the play went to Austin Dick at 3:01 of the third to make it 4-2. The Dogs killed off a penalty to keep it a two goal spread just short of the midway mark before drawing a penalty seconds later. They would again fail to capitalize on it, before a nasty after the whistle scrum saw Austin Dick throw two sucker punches on a prone Bulldog and pick up an extra two minutes. The Dogs would take themselves off the power play when Tyler Povefskie picked up a minor for cross checking while he was unable to draw a retaliation penalty on what looked like a similarly dangerous hit. Another minor went to the Dogs after a player banged his stick on the penalty box glass, something similar also happened the other way earlier in the period that went uncalled. The Dogs would kill off a 4 on 3 advantage before then drawing a call to make it a power play when they killed off the remaining time. That would prove huge with just over two minutes left as the Dogs pulled Christopoulos for the extra attacker to make it a 6 on 4. They would pull within one when Garrett Halls put the puck down the left wing for Josh Adkins, who went cross-ice to the right point for Brett Stewart who one-timed one on goal. It would be stopped by Decelles but the rebound remained in the paint where Drew Blackmun fired it home to make it 4-3 on the power play with 2:0 to play. The comeback would fall short however, with the Dogs coming close on several frantic seconds but unable to beat Decelles. Terrible luck would be the final exclamation point on the night as Chris Schutz had a perfect set up to the left circle for a cross-ice one-timer but his stick snapped in two pieces as the shot missed the net and time ticked off the clock.

Final shots favoured the Dogs 48-34 with Billy Christopoulos taking the loss while Guillaume Decelles picked up 1st star honours with the win. Unofficial power play stats - it got pretty hard to keep track with it being a full three-ring circus at times. I had the Dogs at 1 for 7 on the power play while the Clippers went 2 for 9, another big difference in the final end result.



FINALLY back home, Dogs host Clippers tonight for Game 3, Tryg Strand interview

The Bulldogs finally return to the Multiplex to host the Clippers tonight in a huge Game 3 in this Island Division best-of-seven series.

The Clippers lead this best of seven affair 2-0 after a 3-1 win in Nanaimo on Wednesday night.

I like the adage that a series doesn't begin until someone loses at home. The Clippers did their job and held serve on their home ice, now the Dogs must do the same. One can't help but have some memories stir up of the Island Championship season, when the Dogs headed home down 2-0 to the Clippers in a best of five series facing a must-win game three. Maybe the Dogs should treat this one as a must-win game too, because while it technically isn't it may as well be because they certainly don't want to fall into a 3-0 hole, just as much as the Clippers don't want to let the Dogs back into it. 

After two on the road to start the playoffs and five in a row on the road to end the regular season the Dogs have played seven straight games away from home, last playing at the Dog Pound on February 18th. It's going to no doubt be pretty exciting for the players to get to finally play at home again, but they can't expect it to be easy as it just never is and you can bet the Clippers will come out fired up trying to take a 3-0 stranglehold.
Live coverage from the Multiplex outside the rink starts with Ashleigh Clark broadcasting live from the Tailgate party at 5pm. Van Isle Ford Bulldogs Hockey on 93.3 The Peak FM kicks off with the pregame show at 6:45 and the game action to follow at 7pm with Dan Tisserand on team and player statistics, Bruce MacDonald adding colour and analyis and myself calling the play-by-play.

If you aren't in radio listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:

Listening Live on your computer:
Listening Live on your SmartPhone :
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone

Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is last year's Bulldog Captain Tryg Strand, who played over 170 games in a Bulldog sweater from 2011 to 2014.  After a very tough start to the season, it's got to be pretty fun to be a Gryphon right now. They defeated the defending champ Windsor Lancers last weekend in the OUA West Finals series 2-0. With the win the Gryphons clinched a berth in the CIS National Championships in Halifax next weekend and they also earned the right to host the OUA title game tomorrow. The Queen's Cup has been contested over 100 years now.

Get down to the rink early tonight for what's sure to be a party like atmosphere at the Tailgate party and BBQ to benefit Kidsport - so all kids can play. Ashleigh Clark will be broadcasting live on THE PEAK starting at 5pm up to our pregame show with some cool stuff to be given away! And yes - don't forget to wear white!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Dogs announce pair of 2015-2016 recruits, Early bird deadline today, Tailgate parties Friday/Saturday

If you want to run a successful and competitive franchise it's imperative you aren't blinded by the present to forget about the future. Nice to see that in the middle of a huge Playoff battle right now that the Bulldog organization is already working towards next year. Sounds like a couple solid additions. Welcome to the program Paul and Nathan!

Bulldogs Announce Two Big Commitments 
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very excited to announce two big commitments for the 2015/16 season: 6'4" defenseman Paul Meyer from the Edina HS Hornets in Edina, MN, and 6'4" forward Nathan Dingmann from the Wayzata HS Trojans. Both Meyer and Dingmann played together for the Minnesota Blades Major Midget program.

Meyer is a big, solid, two-way defenseman. This season for Edina, Meyer contribued 17 point in 25 regular season games. Currently after two section playoff games, Meyer sits with 3 goals and 2 assists. Edina HS won the Minnestota state championships last season.

Dingmann is described by Pat Forciea, a former Executive Vice President with the Minnesota North Stars who also served on the NHL Board of Governors, as a massive forward that is athletic and gifted. Dingman's assets include his skating, offensive upside, hockey sense, and a passion and drive for the game. Dingmann is projected to be a quality top 6 forward at the NCAA level.

"I am very proud to have the opportunity to continue my hockey career playing with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs," said Dingmann. "I look forward to becoming a member of the team next season!"

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very excited to welcome Paul and Nathan to the Bulldogs family for the 2015/16 season.

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are hosting two Spring Identification Camps this season: April 3-5 in Port Alberni, BC, and May 1-3 in Osoyoos, BC. There are 10 current members on the 2014/15 squad that were identified in a past Spring ID Camp. For more information on the spring identification camps and to register, visit

Last day for early bird season ticket pricing is Thursday, March 5th. The front office will be open from 9-5pm for season ticket renewals, new season ticket purchases, and playoff ticket sales for Games 3 and 4 this Friday and Saturday.

The Peak's Ashleigh Clark will be broadcasting live from the Multiplex for the pregame festivities both tomorrow (5pm to 6:45) and on Saturday (4:45 to 6:45) as there is a BBQ both nights to benefit Kidsport, 4 on 4 road hockey for the kids and Lance Lapointe performing live on Saturday. So get to the rink early and get some food in you to support a good cause!