Saturday, 7 November 2015

Game 20 - Bulldogs 6 Vipers 3

Some new faces, an increase in size and a veteran presence, but it wasn't enough as the Alberni Valley Bulldogs capitalized on almost every opportunity they were given and the Vipers would fall short 6-3 in Alberni Valley.

The new Vipers didn't take long to make their mark as both Ben Butcher and Latrell Charleson used their size to bump a few Bulldogs.  Butcher wasn't done there as he would score his first as a Viper after walking out from behind the goal and snapping a low shot through Carson Schamerhorn.  The Bulldogs would respond on a powerplay as Chris Schutz would snap a shot from the left circle past Brendan Barry to tie the game up at 1.  Dingmann would pounce on a loose puck off a scramble in front of the Viper goal to make it 2-1 Alberni after 1 period.

Another net front scramble saw Chris Schutz score his second goal of the game to make it 3-1 Bulldogs.  A nice response from the Vipers after that as the top line would score for the first time in four games as Liam Finlay scored on a one timer from the right circle.  The Vipers doubled the Bulldogs in shots on goal, but would find themselves trailing by 1 after 2 periods.

The Bulldogs increased their lead on a Powerplay goal off the stick of Marshall Skapski would let a point shot go that deflected off a Viper defender and past Barry to make it 4-2.  Chris Schutz made it 5-2 a few minutes later with his hattrick goal.  Riley Brandt finished off a nice 2 on 1 rush to make it 5-3, but that was all she wrote as Cayden Kraus would seal it into an empty net.

Here is the official box score:

1-0 Vernon Vipers at 6:14 Ben Butcher from Jimmy Lambert and Brett Stapley
1-1 Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 15:43 (PP) Chris Schutz from Paul Meyer and Nathan Dingmann
2-1 Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 18:58 Nathan Dingmann from Quinn Syrydiuk and Chris Schutz
3-1 Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 3:06 Chris Schutz from Quinn Syrydiuk and Nathan Dingmann
3-2 Vernon Vipers at 8:33 Liam Finlay from Odeen Tufto and Christian Cakebread
4-2 Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 5:46 (PP) Marshall Skapski from Josh Adkins and Quinn Syrydiuk
5-2 Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 10:22 Chris Schutz from Nathan Dingmann and Quinn Syrydiuk
5-3 Vernon Vipers at 14:40 Riley Brandt from Bo Pellah and Ben Butcher
6-3 Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 18:30 (EN)Cayden Kraus from Chris Schutz

Vernon Vipers1113
Alberni Valley Bulldogs2136
Vernon Vipers1516940
Alberni Valley Bulldogs137828
Vernon Vipers0 for 4 (00.0%)
Alberni Valley Bulldogs2 for 3 (66.7%)

The Vipers played a good game and did a lot of things well, but their defensive mistakes came back to bite them as a few times they didn't clear the front of net very well and that directly led to goals.  The big difference was the PP conversion rate as the Bulldogs went 2 for 3 on the PP and the Vipers went 0 for 4.

The two new faces in the Viper lineup looked very comfortable and will continue to make this team better.  It was also good to see the Viper top line get on the score sheet.  The addition of Christian Cakebread to that line will only make life easier for Tufto and Finlay as he's a big puck moving body, but also knows where to go to get open.

Brendan Barry was good on Friday night, but didn't have much help when it came to rebounds.  Too many second and in some cases third and fourth chances found their way to the back of the net.  

It doesn't get any easier for the Vipers as they head to Duncan to face the Island Division leading Cowichan Valley Capitals.  You can catch all the action on 107.5 KissFM starting at 6:45.

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