With the Bulldogs loss in Game 6 of the Coastal Conference Semi-Final Saturday night in Langley, their 2021-2022 season came to a close.
While the club fell short of it’s goal of bringing a BCHL championship to Port Alberni, the Bulldogs accomplished plenty of things that will leave them feeling positive heading into the off-season.
When puck drops on the 2022-2023 season and the players line-up on the blue line, they will hang a banner for the 1st time in a decade, as the Coastal Conference Regular Season pennant winners.
The Bulldogs finished the season with a record of 35-15-3-1 and were an incredible 21-4-2-0 at the Dawg Pound. The season was the most successful campaign since the 2009-2010 season. They also allowed the fewest goals in the Coastal Conference.
Individuals stepped up and won the hearts of fans. Josh Zary recovered from season ending surgery the season before to win the Bulldogs scoring crown. Stephen Castagna was named captain and provided the kind of leadership that coaches and management could only have hoped they’d receive when he was named captain. Hobie Hedquist went 28-9-3-0 and was nominated for the BCHL’s top goaltender award. Finally, Joe Martin was nominated as a finalist for the BCHL Coach of the Year.
The future for the Bulldogs is indeed bright for this franchise and the fans have much to be excited about moving forward.
Falling to Langley stings, there is no question of that, however when players and staff look back on this season, it will be remembered as a turning point for the club.
The message is clear, mediocrity is not accepted.
Thank you to all of the fans, billets, sponsors & volunteers. The commitment you give to us allows us to thrive.
A special thank you to our fans and the community of Port Alberni. This is a special place for our players to have their junior hockey experience. The passion returned to the Dawg Pound this season, as an organization, we thank you for that. We thank you for cheering and inspiring our players to do big things. We will bring a championship to this community, and it’s going to be very special to celebrate that with you!