Photo credit: Xander Holcomb, Blackfalds Bulldogs
Coming into Sunday afternoon’s game, the Blackfalds Bulldogs seemingly were going to have their hands full with the Drumheller Dragons, as they met for the second time in little over a week. The Dragons had an eight-game winning streak snapped by Canmore Saturday night, but still boasted a 9-3-0 record since the beginning of November. Blackfalds had snapped a four-game skid Friday night with an impressive 5-4 win over the Bonnyville Pontiacs. The two teams’ previous game ended in a Drumheller shootout win after the Dragons fought back from a two-goal deficit in the third period.
Blackfalds started the first period very strong and scored less than six minutes in to break the ice. Jason Siedem took a perfect pass from Tyler Wallace in the slot and fired it past Garrett Fuller to not only make it 1-0 but to send the teddy bears flying onto the ice. Blackfalds would their first powerplay of the game shortly thereafter, and it was Tyler Wallace who beautifully deflected home Brett Meerman’s pass just seven seconds into the man advantage to double up the lead. Drumheller did manage to respond before the end of the first period, with Ty Daneault intercepting a breakout pass and beating Matthew Hennessey blocker side, scoring on the fifth of Drumheller’s five first-period shots. The Dragons escaped the first period down by only one goal despite being outshot 15-5.
The Bulldogs would score twice in the first half of the second period, starting off with Kasey Hiemstra poking in a rebound that was sitting in the crease following Garrett Fuller saving Jayden Joly’s initial shot. Tyler Teasdale would double up the Bulldogs lead minutes later, taking a pin-point cross-scene pass from Jason Siedem, walking down the right wing boards, and firing a perfect shot over Fuller’s glove. In the first half of the game, both teams had only taken two penalties apiece, but that rapidly changed after Blackfalds took their 4-1 lead. Among the five minor penalties taken late in the second, Blackfalds managed to kill off a two-minute five-on-three for the Dragons, allowing them to take their three-goal lead into the third period.
As the game’s inevitable result became more and more clear, the third period began to amass more and more penalties. Amid a total of 52 penalty minutes, Connor Dick scored the only goal of the third, period, taking a pass at the top of the slot and beating Garrett Fuller with a perfect wrist shot to make it 5-1. For Blackfalds, their second straight win will spark hope that they can use a home-heavy December schedule to move back up the South Division standings. With the win, they move to just one point back of Drumheller and three points back of the Okotoks Oilers. Blackfalds also takes a three-point lead over the Camrose Kodiaks, with the opportunity to extend that margin over the weekend thanks to back-to-back games against the Kodiaks come Friday and Saturday nights.