I would guess that the playoffs opened up for the Dogs with an almost perfect example of how the players were told it was going to be.
It comes down to who wins the battles, the special teams, the goaltending, who makes the most of their chances, and being opportunistic.
I thought the Dogs looked great out of the gate coming out of the long layoff. They had jump and generated some chances early.
While they didn't seem like they were in full game mode yet, they didn't appear to me to be tight in front of what was a standing room crowd.
Penalties were prevalent early as there were 3 called in the first 3 minutes of the game, including 2 to the Dogs.
Maybe the Dogs would have tightened up, but when the Clippers scored to go up 1-0 on the 5 on 3 with Andrew Gladiuk putting one in high short side the Dog Pound crowd just rose up and cheered anyway, almost as it to say - "don't worry boys, we are here for ya"
Four minutes later, 3 more penalties were called in just over a minute, this time 2 to the Clippers. They would strike on the 4 on 4 when Joe Perry got one through Slubowski low that just made it's way over the line to make it 2-0.
After taking an elbow to the head in the first period that required him to retire to the dressing room for repairs, Matt Hatch came out with considerable jump in his step in the second period. It was nice to see him rewarded with a rebound goal in front off a Ryan Renz point shot on the power play to make it 2-1 Clippers just past the games halfway point.
That would do it for the Bulldog scoring on the night though, as the only goal the rest of the way came from Brayden Jaw just past the five minute mark of the third as the Clippers held the puck in at the Dogs line and caught the Dogs high in the zone as Jaw was in alone when he picked up an end board bounce that he roofed.
The Dogs had plenty of chances on the rush, and on the scramble around the Nanaimo net. Chances don't matter at the end of night if they don't end up on the board though, as the Dogs couldn't find a break around the net to find a way to beat Loic Boivin who stopped 48 shots as the Dogs out shot the Clippers 49-21.
The Dogs were 1 for 8 on the power play while the Clippers were 2 for 6.
Now it's what the playoffs are really about - playing one night, being up or down, and then turning right around and playing the next day.
Game 2 is tomorrow at the Pound, with the pregame kicking off at 6:45 on THE PEAK!
I hope the Pound is Rockin' tomorrow like it was tonight....Just crank it up a bit more. How great was it to see Scott Kenny back with the drums and the signs? The RED in the crowd looked cool. I hope more people get on board with that! Some people are "too cool" haha.
What was the 3 on 3 tournament, and live band, and free Tim Horton's coffee like outside, and feedback on that?
Nice to see Victor Newell and Loic Boivin get a nice applause from the crowd when they were announced as stars. Even better to see them come out and take a bow. I got a kick of what appeared to be Boivin doing an interview with Ian Holmes from our sister station 106.9 the Wolf while his name was announced. It looked like Holmesey said - "go take a bow" cool stuff from the best atmosphere anywhere, in my my humble opinon of course!
Just one more that I almost forgot. Credit to Jamie Amos for telling me before the game that Matt Hatch was going to score the first goal of the playoffs!
That's all I have for now. Morning show wake up is an early one!