They started slow and were never able to recover tonight as the Alberni Valley Bulldogs beat the Spruce Kings 6-1 at the Coliseum tonight. The Spruce Kings were down a good chunk of their roster, including their top 2 forwards in Khaira and De Jersey as they try out for the Junior A Challenge, and it showed as the game rolled on. Here is the recap of tonight's loss
The Look Back:
The Bulldogs came out firing early, pelting Beesley with 5 straight shots within the first few minutes. It didn't take long for Alberni Valley to fit one past the Prince George local, as Josh Mitchell opened the scoring. The Bulldogs didn't slow down though, scoring 2 more in the next six minutes. Brandon Adams and Ryan Lough were the goal scorers that eventually helped chase Beesley form the pipes. Beesley would leave having allowed 3 goals on 12 shots, though it should be noted that all three goals were odd man rushes where he made the initial save. The period ended in favour of the Bulldogs by a score of 3-0
The second period was where everything started to get interesting and chippy. The Spruce Kings started the third by shuffling their lines a bit, and it helped as Chase Golightly found the back of the net at the 9:26 mark. It appeared the momentum was about to shift, when the chippiness boiled over. Ben Woodley and Trent Dorais got tangled up behind the play, with Woodley wanting to drop the mitts. Dorais elected not to take on the big man, and after a couple butt ends from both players, they were sent to the box. The play continued, but the words didn't, Woodley ended getting the extra penalty, but spent his time continuing to challenge Dorais, and the entire Bulldogs bench for that matter. When Woodley did get out of the box, he was on a mission to unleash his anger, but it boiled over in the wrong way as he hit a Bulldog player from behind and was ejected from the game. This would spell the end of the Spruce Kings momentum swing as Alberni Valley scored twice on the power play to go up 5-1 after two periods. Lars Hespo and Yan Kalashnikov added the 4th and 5th markers.
The third was more of the same, with Alberni Valley throwing their weight around and finding the back of the net. The problem was, that the Spruce Kings didn't want to seem to push back. Alberni Valley was enjoying their time on the ice, getting under the skin of the Spruce Kings and staying there. WE would eventually see a fight between Trevor Esau and Tyler Berkholtz, but it wasn't anything more then a tug of war before they fell to the ice. The game would end in the favour of the Bulldogs by a score of 6-1, with Alberni Valley winning every battle tonight. After the game though, Coach Dave Dupas had a few choice words after the game, but as he walked to the bench, Paul Esdale didn't want any part of it. Kirk Thompson made some nice saves in relief, having to face 30 shots with 27 of those being saves. Tonight was a tough game, with a lot of credit going to the Bulldogs who walked into the Castle and played as good of a road game as you can play. Score early, score often and get under their skin.
You can get the full stats and official score sheet here.
After tonight's game I caught up with Coach Dave Dupas to get his reactions to the loss. We talked about his choice words for Coach Paul Esdale, but started by asking him about the game as a whole.download audio file
The Three Stars:
1)(AV) Brandon Adams
2)(AV) Yan Kalashnikov
3)(PG) Ben Matthews
The Spruce Kings will look to bounce back form tonight's loss on Friday, as they will head to Chilliwack to take on the Cheifs.