Photo credit: Xander Holcomb, Blackfalds Bulldogs
The Blackfalds Bulldogs came into Olds on Saturday night with the opportunity to close out not only 2022 but the month of December on a high note. The Bulldogs came in with a 6-2-1 record in the month of December, and the night prior, took a 3-2 lead in their season series with the Olds Grizzlys with a commanding 11-3 win in Blackfalds. The Bulldogs had the opportunity to move three points clear of Drumheller and two points within Okotoks in the south division standings, looking to edge closer to second place.
Jason Siedem had a goal and three points in the Bulldogs’ Friday night win and gave Blackfalds a lead within five minutes. Layne Loomer took a stretch pass from Tanner Willick, springing him and Siedem on a two-on-one. Loomer found Siedem on the doorstep, who redirected the pass into the net behind Marcus Cumberworth to make it 1-0. Tanner Klimpke, who played well and earned an assist the night prior, came into Saturday’s game like a man possessed, looking to take over the game and get the Grizzlys back into it. He successfully did so in the first period, taking a pass from Ryder Many Grey Horses and flying through the Bulldogs zone before firing a perfect shot over the glove of Charlie Zolin the Blackfalds goal to tie the game 1-1. Aside from Klimpke, however, the Grizzlys didn’t manage to play up to the pace of the Bulldogs and often found themselves behind the pace of play, causing Olds to succumb to penalty trouble. Tyler Wallace scored on the powerplay, giving Siedem and Loomer their second points of the game with assists.
Greye Rampton scored a magnificent goal early in the second period, beating his man one-on-one and finishing past Charlie Zolin less than a minute in. A slew of second-period penalties just past the halfway mark resulted in a four-on-four situation, and Tanner Willick took advantage. Evan Mitchell earned his first point as a Bulldog, feeding Willick down low, who found his way to the bottom of the circle and ripped a perfect shot over Marcus Cumberworth’s glove. More penalties ensued, and Willick would again strike, this time on the powerplay, ripping a slapshot through Cumberworth to make it 4-2.
Brendan Ross scored early in the third period, poking home a rebound from a Connor Dick wrist shot, to make it 5-2. More penalties led to more Bulldogs powerplay opportunities, and Jason Siedem would turn home his second goal and fifth point of the night, taking a perfect cross-scene pass from Brett Meerman to make it 6-2.
Jason Siedem’s five-point night pushed his total over the back-to-back with Olds to eight points. Charlie Zolin’s 14 saves earned him a big win in his first start since November 26. Blackfalds improves to 7-2-1 in December, giving them a 21-14-3 record on the season at the end of 2022. Blackfalds has two home games this week, the first against Sherwood Park on Tuesday, followed by a big Friday night matchup against the Okotoks Oilers at the Eagle Builders Centre.
Happy new year from the Blackfalds Bulldogs!