Where to start?
The biggest crowd at the pound in a long time?
The Sam Mitchell vs. Carson Schell captain vs captain scrap TWO seconds into the game?
Bill Bestwick returning the "Bestwick wave" from the fans on other side of the rink in the delay that followed?
The 19 power plays in total?
The Clippers fan bus making noise in the pound?
The Clippers won 4-3 in double OT, their second straight 4-3 overtime win in Port Alberni in a penalty filled affair. Luc Olivier Blain would give the Clippers a 1-0 lead banging a rebound home in front on the 5 on 4 power play seconds after the Dogs had got one man out of the box. The Dogs would even the game at 1-1 on the second of back to back power plays when Sam Mitchell tipped in a Kevin Ross point shot.
Before the celebration even died down it was 2-1 Clippers 38 seconds later as Cody Bremner put a perfect shot short side bar down on Frank Slubowski. The Dogs would out shoot the Shipmen 17-6 in the first yet trail 2-1 into the second as they couldn't buy a goal off of several scrambles around Loic Boivin.
The Bulldogs would tie the game at 2-2 with the only goal of the second period when Sam Mitchell found a loose puck in the slot and patiently steered it home. No assists would be given on the goal as referee Ryan Benbow said the Clippers had scored on their own net. After further review on our replay it looked clearly like Mitchell scored the goal. Assists on the play would have went to Kevin Ross and possibly Josh Mitchell as it was Josh's shot that was blocked and caromed back to Ross at the right point where his slapper ended up being blocked and found by Sam in the slot.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game just short of five minutes into the third on a goal that the Clippers protested, as Jesse Halikas found Matt Hatch alone in front with a pass off the end boards where he would put a five hole deke home to make it 3-2. My only guess on a Clipper protest would be that they wanted an icing call. In the linesman's defense they might have ruled no icing as it appeared Johnny Rogic was battling a Clipper stick as the pass arrived. The Dogs would go the penalty box three straight times to open the third, but their penalty kill was solid as they held the Clippers off the board for the first two chances. The third would be one too many as Nicholas McIntyre let a one-timer go off a carom from a Mark MacMillan shot block that found the back of the net with 9 minutes to go to tie the game at 3-3.
The Bulldogs would then have a glorious chance to win the game late with a 5 on 3 power play for a full minute with 90 seconds left in the third.
The best chance to win it in regulation came with less than 30 seconds on the clock when Mark MacMillan put a shot off the post from in tight that bounced out of play.
The Clippers would kill the remainder of the Bulldog power play to open overtime, and then a minute later it was the Dogs turn to kill as the Clippers went to the power play and had several great chances as all of a sudden Frank Slubowski was very busy.
The Dogs would kill it off and the game went to double overtime, where the Clippers would win it on a 2 on 1 with Cody Bremner putting a beauty cross ice pass to Joe Perry who one-timed a slap shot into the open side before Slubowski could get over.
My good buddy Al (even though he's a Clipper fan) who was in attendance sent me a message and said it was karma coming back to the Dogs for their third goal, as he thought the Clippers winner might have been offside. I didn't notice it on the play nor did Rick but interesting none the less. I actually went and looked at the replay and it's just too close to call. In the end I'll go with the lineman on it as he was right in position on the line.
Crazy game, albeit entertaining with a great crowd. It almost like a football game at times with the special teams playing such a huge part. It was as if one team would get possession of the ball for a while to try and march one into the net, and then the other team would get a crack and back and forth.
Up tomorrow, it's the Dogs visiting the Cowichan Valley Capitals. For now, I really need a bed!
Great game, good efforts put out by both teams, great crowd from both sides of the puck.