The Alberni Valley Bulldogs scored first during an exhibition game against the Powell River Kings on Thursday, Aug. 22, but ultimately fell 3-2 in overtime.
Thursday’s game was the first of three that the Bulldogs will host at home in the Alberni Valley Multiplex before hitting the road next week.
Goaltender Luke Pearson manned the crease for the first half of the game, making his debut in a Bulldogs’ uniform. Last season, Pearson had 25 wins for the Whitby Fury while posting an impressive 1.94 GAA and a .938 save percentage.
Forward Jacob Bosse, who has had an “impressive camp,” according to head coach Joe Martin, also made his debut. Newcomers Tommy Bannister and defenceman Moe Acee joined returning players Stephen Castagna, Ethan Jones, Hayden Hurst and Grayson Valente in the first game of the 2019-20 pre-season.
The first period was scoreless, with Pearson stopping every shot he faced. The Bulldogs opened scoring six minutes into the second period, as forward Ethan Jones was sprung on a breakaway. Assists went to Bosse and Olivier Fizet.
However, the in-arena announcer had barely finished crediting the goal when the Kings equalized with a goal of their own.
The Kings scored again early in the third period, but the Bulldogs tied things up with a powerplay goal from Castagna. Hurst and Bannister were given the assists. Valente was called for boarding in the dying seconds of the period, sending the Kings to a powerplay that carried over into overtime. Overtime ended quickly, with the Kings scoring just 29 seconds in.
Despite the loss, head coach Joe Martin said he was “happy” with the debut.
“I think it was a solid debut,” he said. “It was nice to be able to get into some game situations and get a good look at some players who we think can be solid contributors to our club this year.”
The Bulldogs will face the Kings in a rematch on Friday, Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for kids.