Photo credit: Xander Holcomb, Blackfalds Bulldogs
The Blackfalds Bulldogs and Calgary Canucks played just once in the first half of the season, meaning the two had five games between them before the beginning of March. Two of those five have already passed, including one Friday night, meaning the two teams were going to be set up for a spirited, high-intensity affair that can only really come from two teams seeing a whole lot of each other. Both teams combined for 26 penalty minutes Friday night, but Saturday would prove to be a whole other event altogether.
Blackfalds went 3/4 on the man advantage Friday and it was the powerplay that got them started Saturday, with Jason Siedem scoring his second goal in as many games, beating Spencer Borsos over the blocker early on to make it 1-0. Despite a first period that saw the Bulldogs outshoot Calgary 16-4, they could only manage one past Borsos, with the Canuck goaltender standing on his head through 20 minutes. Blackfalds managed to break through again on the man advantage early in the second, with some perfect one-touch passing between Jason Sidem and Tanner Willick eventually setting up Jayden Joly for a one-time shot in the slot to make it 2-0. Kasey Hiemstra’s checking from behind penalty soon after, however, gave Calgary a powerplay chance that they capitalized on, with Cale Sanders firing a one-timer through Charlie Zolin to make it 2-1. Late in the second, Blackfalds would strike to regain their two-goal advantage, with Tyler Wallace and Brett Meerman perfectly executing a two-on-two rush leading to Wallace beautifully outwaiting Borsos to tuck it in past him.
The Canucks pushed back relentlessly, but it was the Bulldogs who had all of the third-period scoring chances, and eventually, they’d break through. David Brandes stole the puck in the neutral zone and sent Jack Plandowski on a breakaway that Plandowksi tucked past Spencer Borsos to make it 4-1. Later on, after countless penalties resulted in the Bulldogs playing shorthanded, Alexey Trischuk took the puck from behind his own net and took it all the way to the Canucks goal where he lifted it over Borsos for his first goal of the year.
Both teams combined for a whopping 106 penalty minutes over the game, but Blackfalds killed eight of nine Canuck powerplays to see off the team that beat them in their only game at the EBC until Saturday. Blackfalds moves on to Canmore and Brooks at home next weekend, playing in two games with massive ramifications in the south division standings.