The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been know for their fast starts in the pod, on Sunday afternoon however it was a late spark that pushed them past the Nanaimo Clippers by a 6-4 score in the first of seven meeting between the two island rivals.
For the first time this season the Bulldogs found themselves playing behind 1-0 in a game as Trevor LeDonne got his 2nd of the year at 4:25 of the opening period for the Clippers. The Bulldogs didn’t waste anytime responding as Josh Van Unen got his 2nd of the season just 26 seconds later to even things at 1-1.
Finn Brown would give the Bulldogs their first lead of the afternoon at 8:28 with his first BCHL goal, while Tristan Fraser would even the score at 2-2 at 14:14 of the 1st on the PP.
The only goal of the 2nd period would come from Chase Klassen at the 6:00 minute mark.
Klassen stayed hot in the 3rd as he pushed the Bulldogs lead to 4-2 early on with his 4th goal of the season, and 3rd in the last two games.
The lead, and the momentum were short lived however as the Clippers got goals from Jack O’Brien at 4:46, and Thomas Maia on the power play at 9:06 to pull even.
The Bulldogs would right the ship and get the game winner off the stick of Ethan Bono at 17:30 of the 3rd. The play was set up by some great work by Kobe Assam who had a pair of assists on the afternoon. For Bono, it’ was his first BCHL goal in the regular season. Lukas Jirousek would hit the empty net with 1:22 remaining for his 8th of the year to put this one away
Luke Pearson earned the win in goal as he stopped 39 shots on the afternoon. Jordan Naylor took the loss, falling to 4-4-0 on the year.
Final shots on the afternoon favoured the Bulldogs 53-43. The Clippers were 2 for 5 with the man-advantage, while the Bulldogs were 1 for 5.
The Bulldogs moved into sole possession of 2nd place in the pod with a record of 4-2-1-1. The Clippers fell to the 3rd at 4-4-0-0. The same two clubs will do it again on Tuesday evening.
*** Tristan Fraser – NAN (1g 2a)
** Ethan Bono – AVB (1 g 1 a)
* Chase Klassen – AVB (2 g 1 a)