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Bulldogs Get a Final Test Against BCHL’s Best

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs (31-20-1-0) host the Surrey Eagles (43-7-2-0) tonight at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.  Puck drop is 7pm and tonight’s game is presented by Tim Hortons.

This is the 4th and final test for the Bulldogs against the Eagles.  While it’s gone well for stretches, the Bulldogs have found a way to hurt themselves and see the Eagles make them pay in 3 straight losses.  Case in point, the last meeting between the two clubs saw a 3rd period 3-3 game turn itself into a 6-3 Eagles win after 3 consecutive penalties saw the Eagles capitalize with a power play goal.

The Bulldogs are the BCHL’s most peanalized team, while the Eagles have the BCHL’s top power play.  That’s a bad combination. The Bulldogs play on the edge and thrive when the game gets physical.  It’s a balancing act when playing the Eagles to say the least.

Entering the weekend the Bulldogs still don’t know where they will finish in the Coastal Conference, and they don’t know who they will play.  The Bulldogs are 2 points behind the Chilliwack Chiefs for 2nd in the Conference.  Chillwack’s weekend takes them to Duncan tonight to take on a Caps team who is trying to lock down the final playoff spot, and Nanaimo on Saturday to face a Clippers team who is stumbling down the stretch.

The Bulldogs know they will open the BCHL playoffs next Friday and Saturday at home against either the Langley Rivermen (who we will see tomorrow) or the Coquitlam Express.

Surrey doesn’t have much to play for as they clinched 1st overall in the Coastal Conference long ago, and they captured top spot in the BCHL’s overall standings last week.

The Eagles are led by the dynamic duo of Caden Cranston (30-56-86) and Aaron Schwartz (34-47-81).  The pair sit at the top of the BCHL’s scoring race entering the final weekend.  Bulldogs captain Nicholas Beneteau sits in 5th place with 61 points, one behind Nanaimo’s Mike Murtagh, and 3 behind West Kelowna’s Felix Caron.  Hayden Stavroff trails Aaron Schwartz by a pair of goals for top spot in the goals derby.

Callum Tung will get the night off, which might be a good thing as no BCHL goalie has made more saves this year than Tung.  Vladislav Bryzgalov will get the start tonight, and he’s been great since joining the Bulldogs.  In 5 games, Bryzgalov has posted a 1.85 goals against average, and a .933 save percentage.  Tonight will be his biggest test as the Eagles boast the top offence in the BCHL will 217 goals for.

Tomorrow night the Bulldogs host Langley and they will celebrate the junior careers of their 6 graduating 20-year old players in a pre-game ceremony.

The Box office is open at 10:00 am, or you can skip the trip and buy tickets online by clicking here:

Tonight vs Surrey:
Tomorrow vs Langley: