Photo credit: Xander Holcomb, Blackfalds Bulldogs
The Blackfalds Bulldogs and the Drumheller Dragons came into a Tuesday night game three having completely split the season series to this point; after three wins and a 3-2-1 record each in the regular season, the two teams split the opening two games in Blackfalds. After Drumheller won an 8-5 game one, Blackfalds took game two 4-3 to level the series at one. The Bulldogs, this season, had yet to win in the Drumheller Memorial Arena, and at this point know they must find a way to win in Drumheller in order to win the series after losing once on home ice.
Drumheller earned a power play less than one minute into the first period, and thanks to an NBA-style pick set by Drumheller’s Coy Pighin, Ty Daneault had an easy lane to the goal, beating Matthew Hennessey with a perfect shot over the glove. Less than 90 seconds later, Kai Matthew found a loose puck in front of the net after a Caleb Willms rush, beating Hennessey glove-side to make it 2-0 Drumheller. Blackfalds controlled the game from there, but couldn’t cut the Drumheller lead down before the first intermission, despite outshooting Drumheller 10-4 after the Dragons’ second goal.
Blackfalds struck twice in the first seven minutes of the second period to make it a 2-2 game, first, Jason Siedem converted a rebound in front of the net to give him a power play goal and make it 2-1. Brendan Ross then tied it, taking a perfect saucer pass from Brett Meerman in the slot to fire the puck past Garrett Fuller and make it 2-2. Blackfalds and Drumheller traded goals at the end of the second period, with first Ty Daneault giving the Dragons a 3-2 lead, firing another hard wrist shot over Matthew Hennessey’s glove. Kody Willick then was hit with a perfect pass in front of the net from his brother Tanner, before making a deke to the backhand and slotting it past Fuller to make it 3-3.
A too-many-men penalty to the Bulldogs bench halfway through the third period gave Drumheller their sixth power play opportunity of the game, and Dylan Glinski ripped a perfect shot over Matthew Hennessey’s blocker to make it a 4-3 score. Glinski’s third goal of the series was, in the end, the game-winner, as a Ty Whitford empty net goal settled things at 5-3. The Bulldogs fall for a fourth time in this series, going down 2-1 in the second round series, and setting up a big game four at the Drumheller Memorial Arena on Wednesday night.