Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ new goalie

New netminder keeps Bulldogs in play

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are 1-8-3 going into Cowichan on Friday to take on the Capitals.

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are taking on Cow and Grizz this weekend.

The Bulldogs are 1-8-3 going into Cowichan on Friday to take on the Capitals. Matches with the Caps are always a rivalry, Bulldogs head coach Kevin Willison said.

Cowichan will be getting their first look at Bulldog netminder Tyger Howat, who played 174 minutes and backstopped two ties and a loss last weekend against Trail, Penticton and Langley.

“He’s really held the fort for us,” Willison said.

New Bulldog forward Craig Martin will also get a crack against the Capitals. Martin chipped in a goal in each of the games last weekend.

But winning will have to be a team effort, Willison said. “Everyone needs to step up and be accountable.

“Some guys feel they should be doing more though.”

The team was firing on all cylinders against Trail, who they played to a 3-3 tie on Friday.

But Willison singled out the first period of the game against Penticton the next night as being key.

Martin struck first blood for the Bulldogs in the first period but the Vees answered with four goals of their own in the same stanza. Mac Barden scored in the third period but Penticton added two more to win 6-2.

“You can’t win a game in the first period alone but you can sure lose one that way,” Willison said.

“Other than that 12 minutes though I thought the team played some good hockey all weekend.”

The Bulldogs penalty kill is gelling and coming along but the power play and five-on-five needs sharpening, something the team practiced this week.

“We never got the big goals from the power play when we needed them,” Willison said.

The Bulldogs play the Victoria Grizzlies at home on Saturday.