Photo credit: Bryan Wilson
The Blackfalds Bulldogs and Camrose Kodiaks have a home-and-home this weekend against the Camrose Kodiaks, with game one having been played Friday night in Camrose. Coming into the game, the Bulldogs had won both of their two games to start December, most recently beating the Drumheller Dragons by a 5-1 scoreline. The Kodiaks’ previous game ended with a 5-2 defeat in Bonnyville. The Kodiaks had failed to win since they prevailed on home ice over the Bulldogs back on November 22, losing five straight games since. Despite the Bulldogs sitting ahead of Camrose in the standings, the Kodiaks have had their number all season, winning each of the four previous matchups between these two teams.
The first period saw both teams fight through 20 minutes which played out predominantly as a neutral zone battle. The most significant moment probably came as time was expiring, with Callum Gau taking a roughing penalty that put Blackfalds on a four-on-three powerplay to start the second. On the ensuing man advantage, the Bulldogs worked the puck around until Tyler Wallace eventually let a slapshot go from the middle of the ice that beat Robert Andreakos over the blocker, giving Blackfalds a 1-0 lead. Despite the fact that it took 20 and a half minutes to find the game’s first goal, it took just one and a half minutes to find the second, with Kodiaks d-man Carson Brisson finding a way through the Bulldogs’ defenses and squeaking a backhand shot past Matthew Hennessey to make it 1-1. Blackfalds controlled the majority of the second period but failed to take their lead back before the second intermission.
Early in the third period, back-to-back penalties to Blackfalds gifted Camrose a five-on-three powerplay opportunity, which they’d make good on. Ryan Sullivan one-timed an Owen Dean pass through the legs of Matthew Hennessey from the top of the left circle to give the Kodiaks their first lead of the game. However, Blackfalds wouldn’t stop their offensive pressure, which eventually paid off. Connor Dick’s pass to Kurt Gurkan missed its target, but the puck fell kindly to David Brandes, who pinches in from the left point and fired a quick shot short side past Robert Andreakos to make it 2-2 and send the game into overtime.
The Bulldogs kept possession for nearly the entirety of overtime, and eventually, Jayden Joly would find some space to wire a wrist shot past Andreakos and in to win it for Blackfalds. The Bulldogs improve to 17-12-2 on the season, winning their first game against Camrose after four straight losses. These two teams will meet again, tomorrow, in Blackfalds, for a re-match of what was a spirited affair in Camrose.