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Monday, March 11, 2013

Dogs prepare for Playoffs, WHITEOUT, Clippers lose Mitchell

A good final weekend for the Bulldogs as they picked up a couple of wins over the Clippers and Grizzlies, and no one got hurt and no one got suspended. There were certainly moments where both seemed possible....or even likely.

I was impressed with how the Dogs showed their mental strength during several instances - after giving up a shorthanded goal against the Clippers to fall down 3-1 on Friday, they didn't deflate but instead pushed back and got right back into it. Down 4-3 early in the third down two men they stepped up big and killed it off. When presented opportunities of their own on the power play, they made them count. In Victoria on Saturday they again connected on their chances in critical moments, and more importantly they stood up for one another and pushed back when a couple of nasty hits were taken by the less physical and skilled guys. It was a very good learning experience with Playoffs looming on how intense and nasty it can get.

The key now is too have a good week of practice and be confident, but not cocky. That's a very very fine line of course, but I think the Coaching staff and Leadership and the team to a man has what it takes to prepare and be ready. Should be some fun stuff!

Games 1 and 2 of the Best of 5 series go in Nanaimo Friday and Saturday night. A week from today it's Game 3 at the Dog Pound. The first 1200 fans will get Bulldog Playoff Towels courtesy of Van Isle Ford, with the Bulldogs planning a WHITE OUT - so wear white!

If necessary, Game 4 goes at the Dog Pound next Tuesday, while Game 5, also if necessary, goes Wednesday night in Nanaimo.

It looks like the Clippers might be without Mason Mitchell for the first two games of the series, and maybe more than that, after he picked up a 5 minute Major for a Blow to the Head yesterday in the Clippers final Regular Season game against West Kelowna.

I would be surprised if the Clippers didn't appeal the suspension - there are two sides to every puck, and you can bet the Clippers see it differently and they obviously want everyone available for the playoffs. They might be fighting a losing battle as Mitchell has twice already been suspended for Major Penalties this season - one for a Check from Behind, one for a Blow to the Head.

It will be great hockey to watch no doubt, as these are two great teams. Here's hoping a good contingent of Dogs fans make their way down for Game 1 and 2, and some Clipper faithful make a trip up to the Dog Pound


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