BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs ready to face Langley Chiefs in first round of playoffs

It's movie night in the Dog Pound this week as the Alberni Valley Bulldogs settle in with game tapes from their contests with Langley Chiefs. The Bulldogs face the Chiefs in the first round of the B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup playoffs, beginning this Friday, Feb. 25 at the Langley Events Centre.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Connor Varley

It’s movie night in the Dog Pound this week as the Alberni Valley Bulldogs settle in with game tapes from their contests with Langley Chiefs. The Bulldogs face the Chiefs in the first round of the B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup playoffs, beginning this Friday, Feb. 25 at the Langley Events Centre.Head coach and general manager Paul Esdale is confident the Bulldogs will be ready for Friday’s first game. “No one expected us to be here; like I told the guys, we’re the underdogs. We’ll play hard and see what happens.”Keys to winning will include staying out of the penalty box and keeping a strong defence against the Chiefs, who have six players with 58 or more points. “They have an explosive offence. We can’t give them a lot of odd-man rushes or easy goals,” he said.Goaltender Frank Slubowski said the players will also watch tape of themselves “to evaluate what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to really prepare mentally and physically too. Nutrition’s big right now.”Slubowski, who as one of the team’s veterans and 20-year-olds will be looked to for leadership, said it’s important for players to take the playoffs one game at a time.”A lot of people get overwhelmed. It comes with the leaders too, calming the guys down and knowing what we’ve got to do.”For Slubowski, that will mean relaxing with some video games and not thinking about hockey. “Goalies are a bit different,” he said. “We need a lot more rest. Mentally, we’ve got to be sharp the whole game, not like players who are on the bench some of the time.”I love the video games. Really not thinking about hockey. As bad as it sounds, it really clears the mind and gets you ready.”FROM THE POUND…The Bulldogs face the Chiefs in Langley on Friday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 26, then are home Monday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m. at Weyerhaeuser Arena and again Tuesday, March 1. Game 5 will be Thursday, March 3 in Langley (if necessary), home again Friday, March 4 (if necessary) and in Langley for Game 7 Saturday, March 5 (if necessary). Catch them live on 93.3 PEAK FM with Evan (Hammer) Hammond.editor@albernivalleynews.com

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