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Brantford Bulldogs march past Oshawa Generals

Brantford BulldogsBrantford Bulldogs march past Oshawa Generals

The Brantford Bulldogs extended their first place lead in the Eastern Division after beating the Oshawa Generals 3-2 on Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

The Bulldogs got off to another solid start, and it didn’t take long to get on the scoreboard. On the powerplay at the 3:34 mark, Bulldogs right winger Zakary Lavoie fired a shot that Oshawa Generals netminder Jacob Oster initially stopped. But the puck bounced off left winger Marek Vanacker and onto the stick of centreman Jake O’Brien, who shot the puck to the open right side of the Oshawa net. Vanacker got credit for the primary assist, while Lavoie tallied his third point as a Bulldog on the secondary assist.

The Bulldog’s offensive pressure continued for several minutes, and the team continued to strike paydirt midway through the opening frame. At 9:18, left winger Lawson Sherk circled the puck from the end boards, skated around a Generals defender, and shot to the Oshawa goal. After the initial save by the Generals netminder Oster, right winger Dylan Tsherna gets the loose puck and shoots it off the skate of left winger Noah Nelson and into the net. Tsherna and Sherk assisted Nelson’s third goal of the season.

As the period winded, Bulldogs had a golden opportunity to extend their lead to 3-0 with over six minutes remaining. O’Brien skated with the puck down to the attacking zone on a two-on-one, passed to Vanacker, and fired a shot past Oster but hit the goal post. After the first period ended, the Bulldogs heavily outshot their division rival 14 to 4.

Despite the strong performance by the Bulldogs in the first twenty minutes, it took the visitors twenty-nine seconds into the second period to get back into the game. Generals defenceman Zackary Sandhu’s shot from the blue line was redirected by centreman Rasmus Kampulainen past the right pad of Bulldogs netminder Matteo Drobac.

The Generals would then tie the game at two late in the third period, courtesy of a powerplay of their own. With less than a minute left on the man advantage and 3:24 in the period, the Generals set up their position in their attacking zone with a series of passes, cultivated with a Connor Punnett shot through traffic in front and past the glove side of Bulldogs netminder Drobac.

With 1:53 left in the middle frame, the Bulldogs were booked on two consecutive penalties, resulting in a two-minute, five-on-three Generals powerplay. Led by a brave sequence from defenceman Daniil Sobolev and outstanding goaltending by Drobac, the Bulldogs’ penalty kill unit miraculously fed off the Generals’ threat as the period ended. The Generals outshot the Bulldogs 11 to 3 in the period.

The third period was a defensive showdown between the two top East Division teams. Despite the limited shots in the final frame, the Bulldogs found paydirt again. At the six-minute mark, centreman Jake O’Brien made a great feed, catching the Oshawa Generals defence and its netminder Oster off guard in the process, to a wide-open Zakary Lavoie for the eventual game-winning goal. With two points in the evening, O’Brien surpassed former Bulldog Logan Morrison for third place in the franchise’s all-time single-season scoring list for a rookie.

The Generals made things interesting late in the late stages of the period when netminder Jacob Oster pulled for an extra attacker. The Bulldogs eventually locked down the victory with a tight defensive stand for the final two minutes. 

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