The Alberni Valley Bulldogs split a home and home with the Nanaimo Clippers on September 13th and 14th. In the first game, the Bulldogs lost 2-1 in a defensive struggle. In the second game, they came back from being down 2-0 in the second period to win their home opener 3-2 in a shootout.
How it played out
In the first game, both teams liberally deployed the neutral zone trap. The Clippers generated more scoring chances than the Bulldogs. Backup goalie Jackson Glassford, who was starting for the Bulldogs, was remarkable, allowing only two goals on 43 Clippers shots. The Bulldogs only got 22 shots on goal and scored on just one of them.
The lack of offence would be straightened around in their next game. The Bulldogs came back from being down 2-1 heading into the third period to win their home opener 3-2 in a shootout. Tommy Bannister forced overtime with a third period goal and after no one scored in the extra frame, it was on to the shootout. With both teams on their third shooter and no goals, the Bulldogs’ Jacob Bosse put the puck past Clippers goalie Zach Bennett. The Clippers Josh Bourne shot next and was denied by Luke Pearson to win it for the Bulldogs.
Preview of the next game against Surrey
By winning their home opener the Bulldogs set themselves up well for their next home game against the Surrey Eagles. The Eagles are off to a fast start having won two of their first three games. Surrey swept the National Junior A Championship runner-up Prince George Spruce Kings only to lose their home opener to the Coquitlam Express. The loss to the Express will leave them thirsting for a win in Port Alberni. The Bulldogs are in search of another win for new Head Coach and General Manager Joe Martin and owners Keycorp Sports and Entertainment, and hope to draw more fans into Weyerhauser Arena during this young season. The game is on Tuesday, September 17th at 7 PM in Port Alberni with the result unavailable at the time of this writing.
- Tommy Bannister
Bannister scored both the Bulldogs regulation goals in the second game to force overtime, which the Bulldogs won in the shootout.
- Jackson Munro
Munro had an assist in both games, once for the Bulldogs only goal by Ryan Doolin in Nanaimo, as well as the tying goal by Bannister in the home opener. Munro passes newly minted captain Mitchell Deelstra for the Bulldogs active point streak.
- Jacob Bosse
Bosse led the team to its first win by assisting on both of Bannister’s goals in the home opener and scoring the shootout winner.