The Bulldogs got off to a good start on the opening shift with a good opportunity. They continued to push and had an extra step on the Silverbacks over the next couple of minutes, and quickly took a 1-0 lead when Jackson Doucet picked off a pass at centre, and fed Ryan Miotto over the Salmon Arm line up the left wing on a partial breakaway where he walked into the top of the left circle and made no mistake with a perfectly placed shot inside the far post past the blocker of Devin Chapman. Doucet had the lone assist at 4:02 of the first, as Miotto ran his goal scoring streak to four straight games. The Dogs continued to carry the play, and had a gorgeous chance a minute later to go up 2-0 as Miotto again walked in with a step on a 2 on 1 to the top of the left circle. This time he would place a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of Keaton Mastrodonato, who went upstairs only to have Chapman make a highlight reel save to keep it 1-0. The Bulldogs would push on an extended shift in the Salmon Arm zone, and earned a power play chance. While they came close to connecting on it, they also gave up a breakaway that saw John Hawthorne come up with a huge breakaway on Hudson Schandor to protect the lead. Another power play later in the period saw the Dogs go up 2-0, as Darren Rizzolo set up Aaron Bohlinger behind the Dogs net. He would step out and put a head-man pass onto the tape of Mitchel Deelstra up the left wing, where he simply drove the net with speed untouched over the Salmon Arm line up the left wing where he sniped it top corner, short-side high
past the glove of Chapman at 11:31 of the first, on the power play. The Dogs came painfully close to padding their lead a minute later, when Keaton Mastrodonato raced away on a misplayed puck at the Bulldog line on a breakaway, only to be stopped by Chapman. Ryan Miotto and Jackson Doucet would team up to steal the rebound and center it again for Mastrodonato, but Chapman came up with another huge save. The Silverbacks would respond quickly, making it a 2-1 game when Nick Unruh put a sharp angle shot on net from the goal line at the left side of the net. John Hawthorne would make the save, but had no chance to get post-to-post on the rebound, as he was knocked down in a pile up with a couple Silverbacks and Bulldogs as Unruh slid a wrap around inside the near post. Ethan McLaughlin drew the lone assist at 13:23 of the first. Shots in the period were 12-6 Bulldogs.
The Silverbacks earned a power play in the final minute of the first, and connected on it to tie the game just 41 seconds into period two on a perfect set up from below the goal line to the left circle for Nick Unruh, who beat Hawthorne with a perfectly placed one-timer high far-side to make it 2-2 with assists going to Akito Hirose and Noah Wakeford. The Silverbacks had the edge in the play over the next few minutes, but couldn't get the go-ahead marker. The Bulldogs earned a power play, but were then subsequently penalized, with neither side able to cash in. The Bulldogs responded later in the period and again earned a power play, but couldn't make it count. The Silverbacks would respond to take their first lead of the game as everyone on the Bulldog side of the puck appeared to be thinking Offence, as they turned it over and lost in battle on the right wall of their zone resulting in a 2 on o rush from the slot that saw Noah Wakeford return a pass from the right side to the top of the crease fr Tyson Gayfor, who managed to beat a valiant effort by Hawthorne, putting it off the tip of his glove and in to make it 3-2 at 14:20 of the second. The Bulldogs earned a power play half a minute later, but couldn't make it count. With a minute to play in the period, they drew another penalty, with Devin Chapman coming up with two good saves on Keaton Mastrodonato to keep it 3-2 Salmon Arm after 40 minutes. Shots in the period were 10-8 Salmon Arm, for a 20-16 total in the Bulldog favour.
While the Bulldogs couldn't connect on the power play to open the period, they had a very obvious desperation to their game. They'd be rewarded for it just a minute later, as Ryan Miotto picked up a Marcus Walter pass at centre up the left wing and again walked in with a step into the top of the left circle where he scored a goal very similar to his first of the game, snapping it inside the far post past the blocker of Chapman for his second of the game to make it 3-3 at 2:21 of the third. The Bulldogs would continue to put on major pressure, and earned back to back power play chances over the next eight minutes, but couldn't make either of them count, and despite a couple opportunities on rebounds around the net, didn't look especially good on them. They continued to push and had chances through the third, but couldn't get the go-ahead marker. With just under four minutes to play, the game would change with penalties playing a factor. Isaac Tonkin-Palmer would take a knee-on-knee hit avoiding a defender at the Bulldog line. Seconds later, Mitchel Deelstra would be penalized for what I thought was a hip check but was called kneeing at the Salmon Arm line. A minute later, Spencer Hora was called for a check at the side of the Bulldog net. The Silverbacks would get the game winner in 15 seconds of 5 on 3 time, as Matthew Verboon accepted an Akito Hirose pass on the goal line at the left side of the Bulldog net before making a perfect cross-ice pass that was one-timed home by Trevor Adams into the open side before Hawthorne could get over to make it 4-3 at 16:39 of the third. The Bulldogs would kill off the remaining 1:45 of power play, and managed to get their goalie out for the extra attacker with a minute and change to go. The damage was done unfortunately, as they couldn't get the equalizer before Nick Unruh found a Noah Wakeford pass at centre to hit the empty net to complete the hat trick and the scoring for the 5-3 final with 13.5 seconds to play.
Shots in the third were 16-13 Silverbacks, for a game total of 33-32 Bulldogs as John Hawthorne took the loss while Devin Chapman earned the win. The Bulldogs went 1 for 7 on the power play while the Silverbacks went 2 for 4.
The Bulldogs are next in action tomorrow night in Vernon, as they face the Vipers for a 6:00pm start.