At the tail end of a three games in less than three days slate for both the Rivermen and Bulldogs, the game was very entertaining on sunday afternoon. The Rivermen had a two goal lead at one point, but eventually squandered it. You would expect it to be a bit of a sluggish affair considering the circumstances, but in the end the fans got their moneys worth. In fact, they even got more than they paid for with an overtime session, which was won by Alberni Valley 4-3.
In the first period, the Rivermen got out to a fast start as Ben Griener capitalized on an early power play goal just over a minute in for his 11th on the year. The puck was sent towards the net by Plevy, which was tipped by Tracy which led to a juicy rebound for Greiner. At the 12:10 mark of the period, the Rivermen added to their lead on a great shift from Greiner- Plevy- Puskarich. The trio had sustained pressure down low which eventually led to Puskarich putting home his own rebound past Fenkell for his team leading 25th of the season. The home teams play then started to tail off in the middle frame as the Bulldogs found their legs and scored the only goal of the period. Josh Mitchell redirected a shot from Tyler Berkholtz past James Barr to cut the lead to one. In the third, with the Rivermen clinging on to a 2-1 lead, Mitchelll scored to tie it up on the power play on another redirect in front. Late in the period, the Rivermen received a late power play and did not let it go to waste. After working the puck up top, Ryan Bakken sent the puck down to Mike Tebbutt who then fired a no look pass to a wide open Darnell Dyck along the left post who made no mistake. It was a big boost for the Rivermen and the 1007 fans that attended the game, thought it might have been in the bag. Not the case. 16 year old forward Evan Tironese was able to find some open space and tied up the game with a beautiful wrist shot that beat Barr from the slot. with just under three minutes to go. Overtime was needed and the Bulldogs were handed a power play in the extra frame. With tired Rivermen players on the ice heading to the bench for a line change it was made a little too sloppy and were caught with a too many men call. The Bulldogs made use of the open ice and in the midst of another Rivermen penalty upcoming, Walker Hyland threw the puck to the net and went right between Barr’s legs for the win.
It was a big point for the Bulldogs as they move into 6th place ahead of the Grizzlies and Rivermen. The ‘Dogs outshot the Rivermen 37 to 29 and in the end were able to fight off fatigue and ended a five game losing streak. For the Rivermen, it was their third loss in a row and will look to bounce back Tuesday night at home against Surrey. Josh Mitchell was a star for the Bulldogs picking up four points on the afternoon, although Hyland picked up first star honours with a goal and two assists. Ben Greiner led the Rivermen attack with a goal and an assist.