A four goal rally in the third period wasn’t enough to prolong the Deseronto Bulldogs’ season on Saturday as they fell 10-7 to the Cornwall Prowlers in the winner-take-all Game 3 of the EOSHL semifinals.
Deseronto found themselves in an early hole as the home team Prowlers built a 3-0 lead in the opening 3:25 of the game.
The Prowlers didn’t let up from there, scoring once more in the first and twice within the first five minutes of the second to push their lead to 6-0.
Kyle Wetering finally broke the Prowlers’ scoring streak with Deseronto’s first goal of the game, 11:13 into the second.
The teams traded goals the rest of the period, with Cullen Hinds and Craig Cross each scoring for the Bulldogs to make it 8-3 Prowlers heading into the final intermission.
Facing a do-or-die third, the Bulldogs came out strong as Hinds, Johnny Maracle and Joey Mayer all scored within the first 10 minutes of the period to cut the deficit to 8-6.
The Prowlers would add another before Hinds completed the hat trick and once again brought the Bulldogs within two, this time at 9-7.
That was as close as they’d get however as Cornwall added another and shutdown the Bulldogs’ offense from there to hang on for the 10-7 victory.
The loss ended Deseronto’s inaugural season in the EOSHL, which saw them go 5-12-0-1 in the regular season, finishing third overall. In the playoffs they took the heavily favoured Prowlers to the limit after squeaking out a 6-5 victory in Game 1. The Prowlers roared back with a 10-3 victory at home in Game 2 and then held on for the wild victory in Game 3.
Though they came up just short of reaching the finals, the season will go down as a successful one for the Bulldogs, who set out to revive competitive hockey in the town who had been left without a team since the Deseronto Storm folded after 2015. The Bulldogs saw good crowds throughout the home games this season and played their opponents tough throughout the regular season.
The Prowlers will meet the West Carleton Rivermen in the league finals. Both teams finished with 30 points, however the Rivermen entered as the top seed by virtue of their head-to-head record.
Game 1 of the best-of-five finals goes Friday in West Carleton.