BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs perch on edge of playoff elimination

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have their backs against the wall after losing 5-1 to the Langley Chiefs on Monday and falling to 0-3 in the first round of the B.C. Hockey League's Fred Page Cup playoffs.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs' goaltender Frank Slubowski closes the door on Langley Chiefs' captain Trevor Gerling in the third period of Monday's B.C. Hockey League playoff game in Port Alberni. The Chiefs won 5-1

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have their backs against the wall after losing 5-1 to the Langley Chiefs on Monday and falling to 0-3 in the first round of the B.C. Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup playoffs.”It’s a tough one to swallow,” Bulldogs’ head coach Paul Esdale said on PEAK FM’s post-game show. “It looked like we ran out of gas or something.”The Bulldogs outshot the Chiefs for the third game in a row, but only capitalized once in 60 minutes.The Chiefs opened scoring at 4:30 of the first period, Brandon Thompson finishing a play from Josh Myers and Trevor Gerling.A late goal with 59 seconds left in the first, by Mike Tebbutt from Tyler Miller, put Langley up 2-0 going into the ice clean. It would prove to be the winning goal.The Bulldogs narrowed the gap to 2-1 when Casey Bailey (from Josh Mitchell and Lars Hepso) scored at 6:14, but that was the end of the Bulldogs’ offence for the night.The Chiefs saw goals from Mason Blacklock at 11:13 of the second and from Josh Myers at 19:48 on the power play to go up 4-1. Brandon Scholten scored Langley’s fifth goal at 19:14 of the third period, also on the power play.The Bulldogs will have one more chance to turn the series around, Tuesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. at Weyerhaeuser Arena in Port Alberni. Esdale said the key to beating the Chiefs will be “to go after them physically but stay disciplined.”The Bulldogs in the first three games have taken more penalties than the Chiefs, who were one of the most penalized teams in the league during the regular season. “When they take stupid penalties we’ve got to score on the power play,” Esdale added.Listen to the game live at 93.3 PEAK FM or at www.bchl.bc.ca.

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