The start to the game wasn't especially crisp for the Bulldogs, as they spent the first minute in their zone before being called for icing. They would get their legs going and start to push the pace and earned some momentum from it, and looked like they were about to open the scoring but Carter Harris was stopped on the goal line at the side of the net. They kept pushing, and shortly afterwards made it 1-0 as Luc Salem put a shot off the crossbar from the right circle that was found behind the net by Cole Poliziani. He would put it right to the top of the crease where Paul Selleck misfired on it but managed to slide the off speed shot through the legs of Reid Cooper at 6:55 of the first. The Silverbacks would have a great chance late to tie it, but John Hawthorne made a great save on a wide open Rhett Kingston in the deep slot. The Silverbacks would earn a power play at the end of the goal mouth scramble, but the Dogs killed it off to hold their lead into the second. Shots in the first were 9-8 Salmon Arm.
The Bulldogs earned a penalty from the back Referee to open the second, and made quick work of it with a pretty set up to open up a 2-0 lead as Tyler Vanuden fed Michael Sacco on the goal line at the right side of the net. He put a perfect backdoor pass to a moving in Mitch Oliver, who one-timed it in off of Reid Cooper at 2:58 of the second. The Bulldogs made it 3-0 just under three minutes later on a pretty play on the rush as Jackson Doucet flipped the puck to centre, where Cole Poliziani showed great skill to knock it down out of midair. He then dished off to Paul Selleck, who skated in alone and beat Cooper with a quick release, far-side past his blocker at 5:55 of the second. The Silverbacks responded before the celebration died, as Sol Seibel drove the Dogs net and put it at the goal where it hit traffic and then went in off of Hudson Schandor to make it a 3-1 game at 6:23 of the second. The Silverbacks would then proceed to control the bulk of the next chunk of the period, getting a bunch of pucks on net and spending a large amount of time in the Bulldog end, but being unable to beat Hawthorne to trim the deficit. The Bulldogs would earn a power play, and once again made good on it as Sami Pharaon threw a puck at the net from the top of the point that missed the goal, hit the end boards, and bounced right back to the top of the crease. Cole Poliziani would find it, and jam it cross-crease where Paul Selleck roofed it short-side under the bar for his first career hat trick to make it 4-1 at 17:34 of the second. On the following shift, Carter Harris would somehow get away with a hard slash across Rhett Kingston in the middle of the ice and at the end of the shift be called for a Major Penalty for Cross Checking on Trey Thomas. The Silverbacks would connect just 11 seconds into the power play as Joeph Leahy blasted a slapper home from the top of the point past the glove of Hawthorne to make it 4-2 at 18:48 of the second, with assists to Tanner Campbell and Nick Unruh. Shots in the period were 14-10 Salmon Arm, for a 23-18 edge in their favour after 40 minutes.
The Silverbacks threatened often to begin the third on the major power play, but John Hawthorne came up with a couple big saves in tight to protect the lead. Salmon Arm continued to push, and with half a minute remaining on the power play made it a one-goal game on a perfect cross-ice set up that was one-timed home short-side by Rhett Kingston to make it 4-3 at 3:02 of the third, with assists going to Akito Hirose and Riley Hayles. It wasn't a one-goal game for long, as the Bulldogs killed off the remaining time on the major and then made it 5-3 as Tyler Vanuden flipped the puck out of the zone and over the stick of Sol Seibel at the Bulldog line. Keaton Mastrodonato would race up the right wing on a 2 on 1 rush where he made a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of Michael Sacco, who one-timed it home at 4:19 of the third. The Bulldogs would continue to push, but couldn't build their lead. The Silverbacks would then earn a power play chance, and while the Dogs killed it off they couldn't clear the zone as Akito Hirose did a fantastic job to protect the puck across the zone before dishing off to Rhett Kingston, who one-time a shot at the net that was deflected in by Justin Wilson on the door step to make it 5-4 at 12:37 of the third. That would do it for the scoring, but not for the action as a couple interesting scenarios played out as Austin Chorney hit Keaton Mastrodonato and was penalized on a delayed call. Michael Sacco would retaliate in his defence and jump Chorney. When all the dust settled, the Officials.... forgot... I guess, that they had called a penalty on the hit as he received just a misconduct and nothing more. The Bulldog would earn a power play with two and a half minutes to play, and while they didn't score, they killed critical time off the clock. The Officials would then stop play and give Salmon Arm a too-many-men penalty. However, they had missed that Salmon Arm had pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. The penalty obviously couldn't be called, and the decision was made to drop the puck outside the Bulldog blue line. In the Officials defence, the way the crowd was up in arms had me biting at it too. In the end, the Dogs did a good job to not give the 'Backs a chance to tie the game before time ran out.
Third period shots were 23-3 Salmon Arm for a game total of 46-21 Silverbacks. John Hawthorne picked up 3rd star honours with the win, while Reid Cooper took the loss. The Dogs went 2 for 5 on the power play while Salmon Arm went 2 for 4.
The Bulldogs are next in action Wednesday night in Duncan when they visit the Capitals.
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