Sometimes hockey can be a predictable game. And sometimes results defy explanation. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs had a weekend road trip full of the latter, losing 10–1 in Salmon Arm on Friday, rebounding to beat West Kelowna Warriors 10–5 on Saturday then dropping a 5–0 goose egg to Vernon Vipers on Sunday.
“It was Jekyll and Hyde,” Bulldogs’ head coach Kevin Willison said.
On Friday, the Bulldogs scored their lone goal at 17:21 of the first period, a power play effort from Adam Donnelly to make it 3–1 for the Silverbacks.
Salmon Arm scored three short-handed goals and two power play goals in the second period alone to put the game way out of reach for Port Alberni.
The Bulldogs’ special teams seemed to have missed the team bus, especially Friday night: they gave up three power play goals and three short-handed goals in the 10–1 loss.
“Specialty teams were a real let-down for us,” Willison said. “We didn’t kill penalties very well and we didn’t work very hard on the power play. We were a couple of steps behind and when you’re lagging like that the other team can read your plays.”
Saturday’s contest was a complete 180, Willison said.
“For the way they rebounded Saturday night, it’s certainly a big positive.
“Sunday we were a little bit out of gas.”
Saturday against the Warriors the Bulldogs scored seven unanswered goals in the first and second periods to go ahead 7–1 before Kelowna scored their second goal on the power play at 16:57 of the second period.
Donnelly scored a hat trick and other ‘Dogs’ goals came from Quinn Syrydiuk, Chris Schutz with two, Chris Sarault, Eric Margo, Cayden Kraus and Paul Meyer.
On Sunday the Bulldogs were in the game until the third period when Vernon scored two plus an empty-netter for the 5–0 win.
“Saturday and Sunday I thought we play better but we never had control of the puck. Vernon controlled the game because of their puck possession.”
The Bulldogs were in Cowichan on Wednesday after the News went to press. They play in Victoria on Saturday, Nov. 28.