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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dogs top Clippers 4-1, third straight Home win, 1 point back of Caps

The Bulldogs got off to a good start, winning the battles and the races to the puck early in drawing two power play chances in the first ten minutes. They weren't able to connect on them though, as the Clippers did a good job in killing them off. The Bulldogs continued to push the pace and connected shortly afterwards on the rush on a pretty give-and-go as Kurt Gosselin took an outlet pass from Scott Clark and fed Harlan Orr up the right wing over the Nanaimo line. Gosselin drove the net where Orr put a perfect pass on his tape that he deflected home through the legs of Tanner Kovacs to make it 1-0 Dogs at 13:56. The Bulldogs would have several odd man rushes throughout the remainder of the period but were unable to connect. Kovacs would make a great point blank save on a Craig Martin one-timer set up by Mitch Owsley in the final minute of the period to keep it 1-0 after one with the Dogs leading in the shots 13-6. 

The score stayed 1-0 through the midway point of the second, due to the Bulldogs failure to capitalize on the man advantage and the goaltending of Kovacs and Warren. Kovacs made a breakaway save on Darian Henry, while Warren made a save on a short handed 2 on 1 rush and a Clipper 2 on 0, although they executed it poorly. The Dogs continued to get the benefit of the calls and they finally connected on a shot and a rebound as Justin Georgeson got the puck out front to Hunter Stewart who threw one on goal that was stopped by Kovacs. Tryg Strand was outside the paint where he roofed it under the bar to make it 2-0 at 13:22 of the second. It was 3-0 five minutes later on the rush when Jake Kauppila fought the puck over the Clippers line for Scott Clark, who skated into it and ripped one top corner, glove side on Kovacs. Harlan Orr also drew an assist on the play at 18:05. The Dogs went to the power play on the next whistle, and again connected quickly as just 9 seconds into the power play it was 4-0 with Justin Georgeson winning the draw back to Darian Henry who threw a puck on goal that was stopped by Kovacs, but he again couldn't find the rebound as Mitch Makin put it home from the top of the crease for a 4-0 Dogs lead after 40 minutes with the Dogs up in the shots 29-20.

Bulldogs Head Coach Kevin Willison expressed a desire on the Post Game show to get a review of an incident early in the second that saw Mason Mitchell run over Nathan Warren in the Bulldog net. As there was not a major penalty called on the play and no injury resulted, they could not request one. One might think that prior history could be a factor as he has been suspended twice this season, most recently just on January 10th for four games for a Match Penalty. He has been suspended six times over the past two seasons for a total of 16 games due to a variety of transgressions.

The Bulldogs played a solid third period through the first half of it, doing a good job to not sit back while also not giving the Clippers much in the way of chances. The only goal throughout the period came at the end of a good containment shift by the Clippers that ended up with Corey Renwick beating Nathan Warren low, short-side from the top of the left circle. Assists on the play went to Mason Mitchell and Spencer Hewson at 13:42 of the third to make it 4-1. There would be no scoring the rest of the way.

Final shots favoured the Dogs 42-28 with Nathan Warren picking up 1st star honours in his debut on Home Ice while Tanner Kovacs took the loss. Special teams were again the difference with the Dogs going 2 for 6 on the power play while the Clippers went 0 for 2.

Next up for both teams is the rematch in Nanaimo on Friday night before the Dogs return home to host West Kelowna on Saturday and Powell River on Sunday at 1:30.


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