The Alberni Valley Bulldogs put to rest any concerns that their offence wouldn’t be able to produce this year with a pair of barn burners last weekend. They scored 12 goals in two games, beating Cowichan Capitals 8-7 in double overtime and Powell River Kings 4-3, also in overtime.
“Offence and scoring is not going to be a problem with the Bulldogs this year,” head coach Kevin Willison said. “We’re certainly happy about that.
“The biggest concern is keeping the goals out of our net.”
The Bulldogs built up quick 3–0 leads in both games but failed to hold onto them, allowing their opposition to draw even. Willison said his team has yet to develop the “killer instinct” to keep pressing even when the have a lead.
“Once they got up they let their foot off the gas pedal a little bit,” he said. “That’s something they have to learn they can’t do.”
The Bulldogs are seeing production from their top two lines, which Willison said is a good place to be so early in the season. Once other teams get a look at their top players the pressure will be on, especially when the Bulldogs are on the road; home teams get the advantage of last line change.
The Bulldogs are headed on the road for a three-game tilt beginning Friday night in Coquitlam (7 p.m. puck drop). The road trip won’t be quite the bonding experience the team would like to see early in the season because the Bulldogs play three games in three days, including Langley Rivermen on Saturday (7:15 p.m.) and Surrey Eagles on Sunday (4 p.m.).
Willison said it’s unfortunate they don’t get a day off on the road to do some team building; he has tried to do some of that at home by taking the players out to Sproat Lake.
The Bulldogs continue to carry three goaltenders in Jay Deo, Adam Todd and Brad Rebagliati. All three will see action on the road trip, Willison said.
“A lot of people are concerned about the three goaltenders. We as a team feel we’re fortunate to have the three quality goaltenders that we have,” he said.
ICE CHIPS…Follow the Bulldogs with play-by-play from Evan (Hammer) Hammond at 93.3 PEAK FM, either on the radio or live streaming on their website, www.933thepeak.com.