Midget Bulldogs take on the’Riv in playoffs

The Midget A Bulldogs begin the North Island playoffs against Powell River this weekend.

Midget Bulldogs' captain Bryan Read

Midget Bulldogs' captain Bryan Read

The Midget A Bulldogs begin the North Island playoffs against Powell River this weekend.

The game is on Saturday, Jan. 29, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Weyerhaeuser Arena.

This is the only home game in the North Island series and will fan the flames of the rivalry between two closely matched teams.

They have not faced each other since Alberni edged the Kings 4-3 in pre-season play.

The team is peaking in time for the Island League play-offs.

The team picked up four points on the road last weekend, defeating Saanich and Nanaimo 3.

The wins brought them within one point of second place Nanaimo and tied for points with Comox in Division One standings.

On Saturday the Bulldogs came out flying in their first shift, hemming Saanich in their own zone for most of the game.

The first goal came off a break out with Sam Visona feeding a long pass to Marino Somerville behind the Saanich defence.

On an early second period power play, Bulldog Bryan Read stopped a Saanich clearing attempt at the blue line, passed the puck to Somerville in the corner, then to Tyler Wilhelm who banged it in at the corner of the net.

Two minutes later, playing shorthanded, Colby Lim intercepted the puck and made a stretch pass for Brady Janzen who beat the defence and scored five hole.

Saanich got one back to end the period with Alberni ahead 3-1.

Late in the third period, Dustin Diemert scored directly from the face-off.

Saanich made it 4-2 for the final. The Bulldogs outshot Saanich 37 to 20.

Sunday’s tilt against Nanaimo started as a defensive battle.

Alberni managed only four shots in the first period to five for Nanaimo and no score.

The Bulldogs opened the second period on power play.

Somerville scored a one-timer off a pass to Wilhelm.

Janzen scored five-hole on the power play at 12:34. Somerville scored a short-handed goal at 6:43.

Nanaimo made it 3-1 with a man advantage at 5:18, then closed to within a goal on a long shot at 13:03 of the third period.

It wasn’t enough though as the score held until the final seconds of the game.

Brandon Antonichuk, under pressure from the Clippers defence and missed the empty net. He then took his own rebound and scored to make it 4-2 with 13 seconds left on the clock.

Goaltender Andrew Cusson had a good game, stopping 28 of 30 Nanaimo shots.