The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have taken a 2-0 series lead against the Victoria Grizzlies in round one of the BCHL playoffs.
Game 1 on Friday, March 31 was a wild one, as the Bulldogs took the series lead with a 7-5 victory. After Dakota MacIntosh scored the only goal of the opening period, the Bulldogs blew the game open with three second period goals (from Nicholas Beneteau, Jax Wismer and Matthew Maltais) to take a commanding 4-1 lead to the dressing room.
In the third period, the Grizzlies roared back with a pair of quick goals to cut the Bulldogs lead to 4-3. The Bulldogs answered with two more goals, as Beneteau scored his second of the night and defenceman Owen Desilets sniped one into the net.
At 16:11 of the third period, Bulldogs captain Chase Klassen received a boarding call and just seconds later Beneteau was assessed a double minor for slew footing. The Grizzlies took advantage of their 6-on-3 power play (with an empty net and extra attacker) as Nathan King made it 6-4 at 17:26 and Owen Bohn made it a one-goal game at 18:42.
However, Bulldogs forward Brandon Buhr found David Sacco for an empty-netter with just a minute remaining to seal a Game 1 win for the Bulldogs.
Saturday’s game was tame in comparison. Ethan Bono got things started for the Bulldogs in the first period, then Matt Kursonis scored in the second to give the home team a 2-0 lead after two frames. Both Buhr and Zeke Nicholson nabbed empty-net goals in the dying minutes of the game to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 victory and double the series lead. Bulldogs goaltender Hobie Hedquist made 32 saves in the shutout.
The series now shifts to Colwood for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Game 5, if necessary, will take place at the Dawg Pound on Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m.