Friday, January 24, 2014
Dogs fall to Clippers 4-3 in OT, remain a point back of 4th
The Bulldogs again got off to a good start in this one, having a handful of glorious looks in the first five minutes around the Clippers net, the first coming just 10 seconds into the game when Jayson Argue made a casual play at the puck and almost got burnt. A Jake Kauppila bid minutes later would clang off the post and shortly after that Hunter Stewart couldn't get a bouncing puck to settle with an open net. While the Bulldogs built up a 7-3 lead in shots, the Clippers fought back and opened the scoring with just two seconds to go on a power play when Austin Dick scored on a seeing-eye wrister top corner past the glove of a screened LaCouvee. Assists on the play went to Luke Sandler and Korey Morgan at 10:58 of the first. The Bulldogs wouldn't deflate as they pushed back shortly afterwards and tied the game on a pretty play as Ryan Buse picked up the puck from Connor LaCouvee and threw a long pass to Tryg Strand at centre ice where he tipped the puck to the middle over the Clipper line and raced in on a breakaway where he went to his backhand and beat Argue glove side at 16:42 of the first for a 1-1 tie after one, with the Dogs favouring the Dogs 14-8.
The Clippers would take their second lead of the game just a minute into the frame when Anthony Sabitsky took a cross-ice pass through neutral ice and walked over the Bulldogs line into the deep slot where he beat LaCouvee low, stick-side. Mason Mitchell and Jayson Argue picked up the assists at the 1:00 mark. The Bulldogs would go to a four minute power play shortly afterwards when a Luke Sandler high-stick drew blood. The Bulldogs would hit the post and crossbar twice on the advantage and have a handful of great chances around the net but couldn't capitalize. The Clippers would have a great chance to build their lead later in the period on a 2 on 1 rush but LaCouvee made a huge save on a cross-ice pass to keep his team in it. The Bulldogs would go end-to-end in just over six seconds in the dying moments of the period to tie the game when Garrett Halls rimmed the puck hard up the right wing for Hunter Stewart, who deftly chipped it ahead for Justin Georgeson. He would skate up the right wing and over the Clippers line where he made a slick stick-handling move to split the D and get in on goal where he roofed a backhand top corner short-side from one knee to make it 2-2 at 19:53 of the second and into period three, with the Dogs holding a 28-21 advantage in shots.
The gas the Bulldogs had to through the first two periods wasn't there in the third period as they weren't able to get much going through the first half of the frame with the Clippers carrying the play and getting the better of the chances. They would eventually find the net to take their third lead of the game when Mason Mitchell picked up a Josh McArdle pass up the right wing where he skated it over the Dogs line and beat LaCouvee with a quick release, low far side past the blocker of LaCouvee at 10:50 of the third. The Bulldogs would dig in hard to fight back and tie the game with less than three minutes to play as Garrett Halls took a pass at the right point from Craig Martin that he threw on net where it was deflected home by Mitch Owsley to make it a 3-3 game with 2:53 to play in regulation. The Clippers would have a great chance to get the go-ahead goal late in regulation but LaCouvee made a big save on Jacob Hanlon to keep it tied and force overtime as the Dogs led the shots 41-39 after regulation.
The Dogs would have a great chance to end it on a scramble early in OT with both Darian Henry and Craig Martin with looks at an open net but the puck hit something and stayed out. The Clippers would win it shortly afterwards when they turned the puck over on a high hit at the attacking blue line that resulted in a 2 on 1 rush where Brendan Taylor ended the game going top corner, far-side over the glove of LaCouvee on a pass by Luke Sandler at 3:10 of overtime for the 4-3 Final.
Shots favoured the Clippers 44-43 with Jayson Argue picking up the win while Connor LaCouvee took the loss. The Dogs went 0 for 4 on the power play while the Clippers went 0 for 1.
With the point the Bulldogs remain a point back of Cowichan as they also picked up a point in a 5-4 double OT loss at home to Powell River.
The Dogs host the West Kelowna Warriors at home tomorrow night and Powell River at 1:30 on Sunday.