It’s tough to score without any powerplay opportunities and there is that old, first game back after a road trip adage – it is so hard difficult to win that game. The Grizzlies didn’t need to create excuses for losing to the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs, a team that needs to start winning (5-7), but those are two valid reasons.
Carter Berger scored a pair of goals at 7:03 and 7:23 to start the game. Alex Newhook set up the first goal, while Jeremie Bucheler and Lach Hadley assisted on the second goal. In 13 games so far this season Berger, a North Vancouver native, already has 11 points, matching his total season output from two years ago. Ryan Nolan also scored at 13:18 of the third period from Nico Somerville and Riley Hughes, but at the end of the day it wasn’t enough.
At 13:11 of the first, down 2-0 Dawson Tritt scored his second of the season from Ethan Jones. A minute later Keaton Mastrodonato scored from Darren Rizzolo and Jackson Doucet – game tied.
The Bulldogs scored the only two goals of the second period. Mitch Deelstra picked up his fourth on the season from Stephen Castagna and Spencer Hora. Mastrodonato then scored his fourth of the season from Evan Googins on the powerplay, while Charlie Campbell sat for two minutes for high sticking. The goals came at 7:55 and 9:16.
Nolan’s was scored on a breakaway. The marker put some energy into the building for the 703 fans in attendance. Unfortunately Ryan Miotto scored his third of the season at 19:34 into an empty net, Mastrodonato picked up his third point of the game on the play.
Cole Demers picked up the win in goal for the Bulldogs stopping 32 of 35 shots, while Kurtis Chapman took the loss with a strong effort between the pipes for the Grizzlies, stopping 37 of 41 shots fired his way.
The Bulldogs scored on their only powerplay opportunity, while the Grizzlies did not get a man advantage.
The Bulldogs will host the Grizzlies tonight in Port Alberni. The Grizzlies maintain first place in the division, but eh Powell River Kings, with two games in-hand are just two points back.