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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Dogs top Clippers 5-2, take over 4th Place

The Bulldogs got off to a solid start, drawing two early power play chances, however the Clippers came up with two kills to keep it scoreless. Jayson Argue would come up big as well to keep it 0-0, as he made a great save in tight on Justin Georgeson who put a backhand on goal that appeared to be going up stairs before Argue snared it. The Bulldogs would get on the board just past the midway mark of the period as Harlan Orr fought the puck all the way from his own end and into the Clippers end where he retreived it in the left corner and threw it out front where a scramble ensued. The end result was Scottie Clark poking the puck home with one hand on his stick after an initial Argue save on Jake Kaauppila to make it 1-0 at 10:58 of the first. Argue would come up with another great save shortly afterwards on a pretty set up as Justin Georgeson brought the puck behind the net and threw a behind-the-back pass out front for Hunter Stewart, but Argue again made an acrobatic glove save to keep it 1-0 Bulldogs after the first, with the Dogs leading the shots 17-9.

The Bulldogs would again go to the power play early in the period, and while they looked really good on the early parts of it, they got caught pushing too hard and as a result the Clippers tied the game as Jacob Hanlon found a loose puck and fired it up the middle and onto the tape of a streaking Spencer Hewson who raced in on the breakaway and out-fought the Bulldogs backcheck before ripping a wrist shot top corner, glove side on LaCouvee at 3:57 of the second for a 1-1 tie. The Bulldogs would atone for the shortie against just four minutes later when they connected on another power play as Tryg Strand found a rebound at the front of the net off a Kurt Gosselin shot from the top of the point to make it 2-1. Craig Martin also picked up an assist on the play at 7:47 of the second. The score would stay that way into period three, with the Dogs up 32-20 in the shots. 

The Bulldogs would build on their lead just three minutes into the period on a dazzling highlight reel goal as Craig Martin used one hand to throw a pass to the slot to Mitch Owsley who one-touched it back door for Justin Georgeson who one-timed it top corner, short-side on Argue at 3:45 of the third to make it 3-1. It was 4-1 just three minutes later as Georgeson won a draw in the Nanaimo end and went to the slot where he took a perfect pass from Hunter Stewart that he fired home long side, past the glove on Argue. Tryg Strand also picked up an assist on the play at 6:56 of the third. The Bulldogs would control the next couple of minutes, bringing about a Time Out from the Clipper Coaching Staff. Almost immediately afterwards the Clippers had a glorious chance to tie the game as Ryan Forbes skated in on a breakaway after a shot block at his own line, however LaCouvee came up with a huge save to keep it 4-1. The Clippers would persist and got the Dogs running around in their own end to trim the gap to 4-2 just minutes later as a loose puck off a shot block ended up in the slot on the tape of Nick Guerra who slapped one home top corner past the glove of LaCouvee. Assists on the play went to Scott Prier and Sheldon Rempal at 11:06 of the third. The Clippers would push hard on the next couple of shifts and threw a bunch of pucks on net from sharp angles that created traffic around the net, but no goals. The Dogs held the lead until the late stages when they sealed the deal into the empty net as Hunter Stewart lifted the puck to centre ice for Tryg Strand who backhanded his second of the game and 20th of the season home from the Clippers line at 19:43 of the third, with Justin Georgeson also drawing an assist on the play.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 42-33 with Connor LaCouvee picking up the win while Jayson Argue took the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 5 on the power play with the Clippers going 0 for 3 while also scoring once shorthanded.

The Dogs now sit alone in 4th place for the first time this season, a single point up on the Cowichan Valley Capitals, with the Caps now holding a game in hand. They hit the road 6am Thursday, next seeing action in Prince George on Friday and Merritt on Saturday.


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