The Woodstock Navy-Vets topped the Burford Bulldogs 8-3 in Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) action on Saturday, October 23.
The Navy-Vets came out strong to start the first period controlling the play for the first minute. As the Bulldogs started to get their legs, a turnover led to a two-on-one opportunity for the Navy-Vets. They capitalized on Burford’s mistake to take a 1-0 lead two minutes into the game. The Bulldogs forwards came out slow after the goal but their defensemen kept them in the game by blocking multiple shots in front of the net.
Burford received a chance to tie the game up with a power-play after Woodstock headed to the box for slashing. Their Bulldogs came out flat during the power-play, recording only one shot on net and spending the majority of their man-advantage in the neutral zone. As the penalty clock ticked down, the Navy-Vets headed down the ice on a breakaway but Bulldogs goaltender Caleb Ursu stood his ground and made a big stop to keep the game at 1-0.
The Bulldogs rewarded their goalie for his efforts moments later with a one-timer from the point to tie the game at one. The Navy-Vets battled hard in response to the goal and took off on another two-on-one to restore their lead 2-1 two minutes later.
Following that goal, the Navy-Vets kept their momentum going to score another to make it 3-1.
Moments later, the Bulldogs took a cross-checking penalty and the Navy-Vets did not take long to take advantage. Only 11 seconds into the power-play, Woodstock went top shelf on Ursu to extend their lead to 4-1.
The Bulldogs took another penalty with less than two minutes to go in the first. Woodstock’s power-play units came out fast, but Ursu held on with a number of saves as the period came to an end.
The Navy-Vets started the second period with 18 seconds left on the man-advantage. The Bulldogs successfully killed off the penalty and looked very strong in the first few minutes of the period. Tensions started to run high and the Navy-Vets took a two minute roughing penalty. Navy-Vets goaltender Keaghan Brett kept his team’s lead intact throughout the penalty kill, making a number of saves on the Bulldogs. Moments later, a save by Brett led to a breakout play by the Navy-Vets and they slid one past Ursu to make it 5-1.
A minute later, some big hits behind Woodstock’s net led to Bulldogs forward CJ Briggs being kicked out of the game, taking a two minute minor and ten minute misconduct for checking from behind. Over a minute into the man-advantage, the Navy-Vets scored their second power-play goal of the night to extend their lead to 6-1. The Bulldogs responded to the goal with a strong offensive attack, scoring a goal of their own less than 30 seconds later to make it 6-2.
The Bulldogs ended the second period on the power-play after the Navy-Vets took an interference penalty with 1:15 remaining.
In the third period, the Bulldogs came out flying for the first time all game. It paid off for them as they capitalized on the final seconds of the power-play to make it 6-3. The Navy-Vets responded by controlling the play for the next two minutes. But the Bulldogs weren’t out of the game yet as they managed to tuck another one past Brett. The referees waved off the goal almost immediately as the net was knocked out of place prior to the puck crossing the line.
The Navy-Vets took advantage of the Bulldogs disappointment in the no-goal call to head back down the ice and score their seventh goal of the game with a shot that found the top corner of the net. Seconds after the goal, Woodstock headed to the penalty box for hooking. The Bulldogs were unable to get anything going on the power-play, with the Navy-Vets clearing the zone five times to kill the penalty.
Less than ten seconds after killing the hooking penalty, the Navy-Vets headed to the penalty kill again for slashing. While the Bulldogs power-play units looked stronger during this penalty, they could not get the puck past Brett. Moments later, the Navy-Vets got a power-play of their own after a cross-checking call against the Bulldogs. Just as the penalty is killed off and the Bulldogs get back to even strength, the Navy-Vets get their eighth goal of the game past Ursu. They held onto their lead through the last five minutes of the game that included two offsetting 10 minute penalties for inciting an opponent on either team and one Woodstock tripping penalty.
The final score was 8-3 in favour of the Navy-Vets and shots were 35-32 in favour of the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs look to bounce back on Saturday, October 30 against the Tavistock Braves at the Burford Arena.