By Charlie Hansen '18
The crowd was roaring and the music was blasting at the middle rink in Rockville on Friday night as the Ice Dogs played a physical and chippy match against Landon. The Bulldogs, who have been plagued with injuries in recent weeks, had a slow start to the game. The top-ranked Bears pounced on several mistakes upon puck drop and capitalized. Two minutes after the start of the game, the Dogs were down 2-0. But no one hung their heads in defeat; the Dogs picked up the tempo of their game and started playing their signature fast and physical style. Before the start of the game, Coach Ryan requested the team play a full 45 minutes and to leave everything on the ice. An aggressive play from Matthew Gunty ‘19 helped set up a stuff-in goal from Ethan Ouyang ‘21 to bring life to the Bulldog bench during the first period. Max Delorme ‘20 made his IAC debut in relief during the first period and stopped shots from the hammering Bear’s forwards. The relentless forecheck from the Bears and the errors made by the Dogs cost them another goal. However, the Bulldogs jumped on a Landon mistake and Evan Orloff ‘21 scored with a slap shot from the blue line. The story was the same in the third period, with both the Bulldogs and the Bears playing hard and capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes. Even though the Dogs had a better showing compared to other games, they could not put the critical pieces together in necessary for a win. The final score was 5-2, with the Bears scoring an empty net goal as the Bulldogs tried to make one last push to even the game. The Bulldogs will hopefully have a rematch against the Bears, the likely regular season IAC champs, in the IAC playoffs. Now seeded third in the IAC playoffs, the Bulldogs have to beat St. Stephens next Tuesday, which would leave the team with an even IAC record (2-2). The team appreciated the support and will need more in the coming weeks as they continue to improve and play as a more cohesive unit in the IAC and MAPHL playoffs.