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Friday, January 11, 2019

Bulldogs drop 3-0 decision to Wild

The Bulldogs got off to a great start, pushing the Wild into their zone on the opening shift. They would generate a fantastic chance a minute later on a give-and-go that saw Ryan Moon send Mitchel Deelstra in alone where he couldn't tuck it home as he was tripped up cutting across the crease by Wild goalie Austin Park. At the other end seconds later, the Wild had an in alone chance that saw Hawthorne ran over, resulting in a Bulldog power play. They would generate a couple good looks on it, but couldn't find the net. The Wild carried the play in the following minutes, with John Hawthorne making a jaw-dropping save on Josh Arnold who had a wide open net as Hawthorne was late finding the puck but still managed to get his glove out across the crease in desperation to keep it scoreless. The Wild would however find the net at the midway point of the period as Christophe Fillion beat his man to the net and deftly deflected a cross-crease feed past the outstretched toe of Hawthorne to make it 1-0 Wild, with Josh Arnold assisting at 9:47 of the first. The Bulldogs answered and pushed back to earn a power play chance of their own, but couldn't capitalize on it before taking not one, but two penalties on the same play - the first on a trip at the attacking line, the second on a one handed tap on a net drive on John Hawthorne at the other end. A very interesting scenario came out of this, as on the ensuing faceoff the Wild sent out FIVE players, while still having a man in the box. The four Officials would miss it and drop the puck. The Wild would have several great chances on the 5 on 3 but John Hawthorne was fantastic as were his penalty killers to keep it 1-0. It would certainly have been an even more interesting scenario if the Wild had scored with too-many-men on the ice. The Bulldogs would kill off the remainder of the legit 5 on 3 to keep it 1-0 after 20 minutes. Shots were 12-5 Wild after the first.

The Bulldogs again got off to a good start in the second, generating a couple good chances in tight, followed by forcing the Wild into a series of icings. They would win the following draw and work the puck around the Wild zone,  but couldn't get it on net before a turnover resulting in a rush the other way that saw Matt Dorsey cut in down the left wing where he lifted a backhand far-side top corner over the glove of Hawthorne to make it 2-0 at 3:48 of the second, with assists going to Trevor Griebel and and Murphy Stratton. The Wild would control the next couple of minutes, but the Bulldogs held on and Hawthorne again make a couple big stops. The Bulldogs weren't able to generate much through the period, with a couple of chances in the final seconds around the net looking threatening, but not ending up on goal. Shots in the period were 10-3 Wild, for a 22-8 Wild advantage after 40 minutes.

The score remained that way through to the midway point of the third, with the Bulldogs finally getting a couple of good opportunities on Park that he kept out to protect the lead.  The Bulldogs suddenly appeared to lose their push, and a weird series of events saw the Wild put the game away with five minutes to play as a dump in to the far corner saw Hawthorne catch and edge and take a tumble, and a Bulldog defender misplay the corner bounce before it ended on the stick of PJ Fletcher, who set up Marko Reifenberger in the slot where he beat Hawthorne high far-side to make it 3-0 at 15:01 of the third to complete the scoring.

Shots in the third were 14-7 Bulldogs, for a game total of 33-24 Wild with John Hawthorne taking the loss in net while Austin Park earned 2nd star honours with the win and shut out. Both sides went 0 for 3 on the power play.

The Bulldogs next see action tomorrow night in West Kelowna.


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