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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dogs top Clippers 5-4 in double OT to snap streak

The Clippers had the better of the chances early as the Bulldogs fought the puck out of the gate to start the game, with Connor LaCouvee making two or three in-alone saves within the first minute and change, followed up by a penalty shot save on Sheldon Rempal with his blocker to keep the Dogs in it just over a minute into the game. The Dogs would reward their goalie but immediately starting to take the play the other way, drawing a penalty and going to the power play where they made quick work of the opportunity, scoring just 7 seconds into the advantage as Brett Stewart kept the puck in at the right point and went cross-ice to Justin Georgeson, who one-touched it to Hunter Stewart wide open in front where he deflected it home to make it 1-0 Bulldogs, 3:16 into the first. It was 2-0 five minutes later when Garrett Halls threw a check and knocked the puck loose for Zach Funk who ripped one under the blocker arm of Argue from the right circle to make it 2-0 at 8:34, with Darien Henry also drawing an assist on the play. The Dogs would end up in penalty trouble shortly afterwards as they took a Too-many-men penalty while already down a man, resulting in a Clippers 5 on 3 advantage of over 1:20 in duration. The Dogs penalty kill would come up huge to kill it off and preserve the lead.

The Clippers got on the board before the ice was wet to start the second period as Connor LaCouvee made the first save on a strong net drive by Jacob Hanlon, but the rebound went off the paddle of his goal stick out front where Spencer Hewson found it and chipped it home up and over LaCouvee. Anthony Sabitsky also drew an assist on the play just 18 seconds into the second to make it 2-1 Dogs. Less than a minute later the Dogs got it back as Darien Henry pinched and threw a check to keep the puck in for Mak Barden who walked down the right wing wide open before out-waiting Argue and lifting it home from the top of the crease. Assists went to Hunter Stewart and Rob Click at 1:03 of the second. Two and a half minutes later it was 3-1 Dogs as Mitch Makin picked off a D-to-D pass behind the net and centered it for Scott Clark, who one-timed it past the blocker of Argue, 3:38 into the period. The Dogs would control the bulk of the play early in the second and had the Clippers hemmed in for what seemed like minutes at a time, but they couldn't build the lead. They would finally draw a penalty, but they couldn't capitalize on the advantage. Later in the period Scott Clark was tripped up on a breakaway but no call was made, while earlier in the game a similar play resulted in a penalty shot. The Clippers would get on the board after an after-the-whistle skirmish at the Dogs net after Luca Doctor had to fight from being driven into his own goalie after the whistle on a dump in from centre. It would be five on five hockey, and off the ensuing faceoff it was 4-2 as the faceoff was won back to Scott Prior, who one-timed one on goal from the left point that deflected up and over LaCouvee off a stick. The goal was unassisted, at 14:27 of the second. The Dogs almost got it right back on the next shift when Mitch Makin again picked off a loose puck deep in the Clippers zone and threw it across the slot, where it deflected off a Clipper defender and ended up between the pads of Argue, who had just gotten back to the net to just keep it out. On the next shift it was a 4-3 game as the Dogs turned the puck over in their own zone and Sheldon Rempal found it and quickly threw it to the top of the crease where it was deflected home through the legs of LaCouvee by Devin Brosseau. Korey Morgan also picked up a helper at 15:36 for a 4-3 Dogs lead after two.  

The Bulldogs would come out strong in the third as they protected their lead and had a handful of great opportunities to build the lead on three breakaways for Mak Barden, Tryg Strand and Scott Clark but Jayson Argue came up huge to keep the Clippers in it. They would reward him by tying the game after the Bulldogs got caught on an icing call. Even after calling Time Out to rest the troops, the Clippers still found the equalizer on a jam in attempt after an end-board bounce as Bo Brauer stuck with it and forced it home. Assists on the play went to Mason Mitchell and Brendan Taylor at 13:06 to tie the game at 4-4. Despite the pressure of being on a losing streak and surrendering a three goal lead, the Bulldogs didn't wilt and continued to play hard as the game went to overtime.

Each team would have their fair share of chances in sudden death with LaCouvee and Argue standing tall. It would be a weird one that saw the Dogs win it and race off the bench in celebration as Mitch Makin just threw the puck at the net from the left point where Jayson Argue missed in covering it up and couldn't get back to the net as his defenceman got in his way as Tryg Strand found the loose puck and slid it into the open side. No assist was somehow given on the play, but Mitch Makin will eventually get it on the game winner at 1:23 of double overtime.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 53-47 with Connor LaCouvee picking up the win and third star honours while Jayson Argue took the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 3 on the power play while the Clippers went 0 for 2.

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