Photo credit: Xander Holcomb, Blackfalds Bulldogs
The Blackfalds Bulldogs and Canmore Eagles both came into Friday night’s game needing a win, Canmore had lost five straight while Blackfalds had lost four of the past five. The Bulldogs’ only win in November was against Canmore back on November 10, and with a difficult four-game trip on the horizon, this game was being treated as a must-win.
Jayden Joly opened the scoring just fourteen seconds in, poking home a rebound after Tanner Willick’s wrist shot had hit the post. Kayden Rawji would tie the game after his backhand shot from the red line took a sharp and unexpected bounce through Matthew Hennessey’s five-hole. Despite the unorthodox and fortunate nature of Canmore’s goal, the Eagles deserved to be tied through twenty, with the game tied 1-1 through one.
The Bulldogs would both regain and subsequently double their lead early in the second period, with two goals in just 86 seconds. First, Spencer Bell came flying off the bench on a line change and took Jason Siedem’s pass, beating Canmore’s Andreai Proctor-Ramirez over the glove with a backhand shot to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. Quickly thereafter, Siedem would score a powerplay goal on a perfect cross-scene pass from Layne Loomer, giving Proctor-Ramirez no chance to get across and giving Blackfalds a 3-1 lead.
With under 30 seconds to go in the second period, Spencer Bell would score a goal that closely mirrored his at the beginning of the middle frame. Bell, again, came off the bench on a line change and quickly went to the net, taking a good pass from Bill Gourgon and again being Proctor-Ramirez on his glove side with a backhand shot to make it 4-1 Bulldogs through two. Jayden Joly, who scored early in the first, would notch his second of the game in the first minute of the third period, using his speed to get behind the Canmore defense and beat Procor-Ramirez with a sweet move through the five-hole.
The two teams played a spirited and feisty final twenty, but Joly’s goal stood as the last of the game, with Blackfalds picking up a 5-1 victory to snap their two-game slide. The Bulldogs go to Brooks for tomorrow night, where they will meet a Bandits team who haven’t lost a game in regulation since Blackfalds beat them a the Eagle Builders Centre back on September 24.