Weekend split for Bulldogs

Osadca scores 2OT winner

By Josh Howald

Parity was the name of the game over the weekend for the Nicol Insurance Kincardine Bulldogs.

Both Western Junior C games were extremely tight contests, with Kincardine bouncing back from a 4-3 loss Friday night in Wingham with a double-overtime win Saturday night on home ice over the Hanover Barons.

"That is our fourth overtime win already this year, and with no points for the OT loser, those are big points in the standings," said Kincardine head coach Steve Stepaniak.

The 'Dogs are now 11-4-1, second overall in the Western standings, six back of first place Walkerton and six up on the third place Ironmen.

Friday night in Wingham, Greg Hansford scored the game winner during a long 5-on-3 advantage with 5:37 left in the third period. Dan Skinner was off for hooking when Matthew Mah was handed a double-minor for spearing, and the Ironmen took full advantage to escape with a 4-3 win.

"We deserved better in Wingham," said Stepaniak. "We had two questionable goals called back for the net being off. But we also got into that late penalty trouble, which obviously cost us."

Tyler Armstrong and Hunter Robbins-Gibbons exchanged first period goals in this game, with Armstrong scoring first and Robbins-Gibbons answering back from Brett Burrows and Zach Frieburger.

Wingham chased Luke Aulthouse from the Kincardine net with two goals on five second period shots. Josh Stewart scored 40 seconds into the middle frame, and Josh Purdue made it 3-1 less than four minutes later. Jacob Hutchings entered the game, and gave the 'Dogs a chance to get back in the game.

Satosek cut the lead to 3-2 just 22 seconds into the third period, and Kincardine then tied the game when Patrick Wiejak scored a power play goal from from Satosek and Keegan Angel.

Saturday night, Michael Osadca crashed in from the blue line during the second overtime period and was able to find a loose puck to give Kincardine a big 5-4 win over the Hanover Barons on home ice.

"That was a big two points for us after they tied the game with less than two minutes left," said Stepaniak. "Hanover had won a bunch in a row, including beating us last weekend, so it was nice to snap that little streak."

Satosek and Burrows had first period goals for Kincardine, but back-to-back power play goals by the Barons early in the second period tied the game. Tyler Loucks scored first, followed by Mitch Pyke.

Dalton Hnatko made it 3-2 for Kincardine with five minutes to go in the second, but Cole Leslie scored with 18 seconds left in the frame to send the game to the third period all tied up.

Wiejak made it 4-3 for the 'Dogs with a power play goal from Mah and Brady Richards, but the Barons wouldn't go away. Justin Graham's late goal evened the score and sent this game to extra time.

Hutchings posted the win, making 31 saves along the way while Gord Walmsley made 30 stops in the loss for the Barons (7-10, fifth in the West).

Former head coach Jeff Alcombrack was on the Kincardine bench on the weekend with Stepaniak.

"I wanted to have a third guy, mainly for when (assistant coach Shawn Burrows) can't make it, but having a guy like Alky to work with the D is huge for us." said Stepaniak. "He will be helping out when his work schedule allows it."

This weekend is a big one for the 'Dogs, with two big games at home. Saturday night Kincardine will play Hanover for the third straight weekend. Sunday afternoon, the first place Walkerton Hawks will be in town.

"If we want to keep pace for first place, we will need those two points," said Stepaniak. "The Hawks have been hot since adding Connor Patton from Caledonia, and will have Bill Brown coaching (as Brad Tiley joined the coaching staff of the Owen Sound Attack last week)."

Saturday night's game against the Barons is a 7 p.m. start, while the puck will drop for Sunday's game with the Hawks at 4 p.m.