Alberni Midget B’s head into critical game

The AVMHA Midget B Rep team plays in the Island Playoff series starting Saturday, Feb. 11.

The AVMHA Midget B Rep team, sponsored by Jal Design, Subway and Triple A Photos, will play one of its most important games of the season on home ice, this Saturday against Comox 2. The game starts at 3 p.m. at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.

In the Island Playoff Series, each of the teams has a win and a loss, so only the winner will go on to the finals in a best of three games, to be played against the winner of this weekend’s game between Nanaimo and Cowichan.

It will be a tough battle as all four teams are quite evenly matched – anyone could win. Despite missing the team’s two top scorers—Liam Macleod (36 points)who was off the past four games with a shoulder injury, and Connor Gagnon  (31points), missing in the last two—the Midget B Bulldogs have won three out of the four last games.   Hopefully Macleod and Gagnon will be back for this crucial game as the Bulldogs will be missing two dependable defensive players, brothers Gary and James Martin.

To update, the Midget B Bulldogs got off to a great start in the playoffs, with a solid 7-2 victory against Cowichan on Jan. 28. They spread out their goals with three in the first period, two in the second and two in the third. Connor Gagnon ended up with a hat trick, Ellis Martin scored two and Giordano Corlazzoli and Cameron James each scored one.

Matt McLeod contributed four assists, Wesley Schutt had two assists and Cam Blake, Cameron and Connor  each got one.

The following day, on home ice once again, the Midget B Bulldogs won an exhibition game against Peninsula3 with a score of 6-3.   After a scoreless first period, the Bulldogs dominated the second period with goals from Dawson Marlett,  Jordan Lavertu (AP),  Matt McLeod, Gary Martin, and Connor Gagnon. Assists were from Colin Mowat,  Ellis, Cam, Daryl Defrietus, Connor, Cameron, Schutt and McLeod.

Third period play continued with good team efforts resulting in a goal by Cameron assisted by James and Ellis. Team and spectator excitement soared when Andrew Cusson stopped a penalty shot in the third period.

This past weekend the AVMHA Midget Bs travelled to Victoria on Feb. 4 for an exhibition game against Saanich4, winning 10-1—a near-shutout game for goalie Jason Brunt.

First period goals were both scored by Ellis Martin, assisted by Schutt.  In the second period, McLeod got three goals, assisted twice by Cameron and once by Gary; Schutt got his first of the game assisted by Ellis Martin, and the AP line saw Lavertu score from a pass by Tyrell Terryberry.

Third period play led with the Ellis Martin/Schutt combo again, and a first of the season goal for Jory Cole assisted by McLeod and Blake.

The final goal was scored by Corlazzoli, assisted by Ellis Martin.  Unfortunately, the next day resulted in a narrow 4-3 loss against Nanaimo2 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

Colin Mowat put in the first goal of the game, assisted by Dawson Marlett on a power play. Cameron James put one in, assisted by AP Shayla Frechette, who had neither played or practiced with this team.

Second period play found Schutt rack up another point, assisted by James Martin on a powerplay. No goals were scored in the third period for either team. Blake had a good opportunity with a penalty shot, however.

All of Nanaimo’s goals were scored on power plays.

As with any game, a team spokesperson noted, if the Bulldogs can stay out of the penalty box they all, whether on offense or defense, have the potential to score and win.

Let’s hope they come out to Saturday’s game well-rested and ready to give their best individual and team effort to continue to the playoff finals.

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