Volunteers from the AV Multiplex and Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association drag a tarp full of stuffies collected from the BCHL Bulldogs’ annual teddy bear toss event on Saturday, Dec. 15. HEATHER MILLIGAN PHOTO

BCHL: Bulldogs split weekend games with Victoria, Nanaimo

Austin Spiridakis scores on the penalty shot for Saturday win

Mitch Deelstra scored at 17:54 of the second period to unleash the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ annual Teddy Bear Toss, but it was Austin Spiridakis who provided the best excitement of the B.C. Hockey League game on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Dawg Pound.

The first half of the Bulldogs’ game against Victoria Grizzlies was a goaltending duel as John Hawthorne in the Bulldogs’ net and Kyle Dumba in the Grizzlies’ net had matching shutouts on the go. Deelstra’s goal finally got past Dumba, but the Bulldogs’ 1–0 lead was shortlived. The Grizz’s Ryan Nolan scored on a breakaway about 30 seconds later to tie the game heading into the second intermission.

Six and a half minutes into the third period, Dogs’ forward Austin Spiridakis was hauled down on a breakaway, and the 16-year-old scored on the subsequent penalty shot to put the Bulldogs in front 2–1 for good.

The Bulldogs hosted Nanaimo Clippers on Sunday for a matinee matchup, but came out on the losing end of a 4–2 score. The Bulldogs were first on the board, with Tanner Pochipinski connecting at 4:42 of the first period. Nanaimo evened it up at 14:36. Keaton Mastrodonato put the ‘Dogs ahead 2–1 at 5:39 in the second period. Nanaimo scored three unanswered goals in the third period though to go home with the win.

The Bulldogs take a break now until Dec. 30 when Cowichan Capitals come to town for a 6 p.m. puck drop. The Bulldogs will play Nanaimo at home on Dec. 31, a special 2 p.m. game. The Dec. 31 game was rescheduled from Dec. 28 due to the World Junior Hockey pre-tournament game coming to Port Alberni.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

BCHL, Alberni Valley Bulldogs

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Kenny, an avid Bulldogs’ fan, is ready to throw a stuffed Minion onto the ice when the Alberni Valley Bulldogs score their first goal of the annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Dec. 15, 2018. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Mitch Deelstra reaches the puck first in the first period of the Bulldogs’ game vs. Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday. Deelstra scored the Bulldogs’ first goal of the game to trigger the annual teddy bear toss. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

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