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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Clippers top Dogs 5-2

The Clippers won the opening draw and controlled the first shift but the Bulldogs pushed right back to make it 1-0 just under a minute into the game as Eric Margo won a draw in the Clippers end for Garrett Halls who walked to the corner and up the left wing wall before throwing a pass right to the hash marks where Dylan Haugen one-timed it home low past the stick side of Guillaume Decelles to give the Dogs the lead at the  :58 second mark. The Clippers would respond and push hard back at the Bulldogs and control the better of the next several minutes, getting a lot of pucks on Billy Christopoulos but being unable to sneak one by him as he was rock solid. It looked like the Dogs might have taken a 2-0 lead on a delayed penalty as Kurt Gosselin drove wide and threw puck on net that was tipped in as Decelles was bumped and the Clippers net was dislodged. After a discussion between the Officials a goal would not be awarded. The Dogs had several good looks early on the power play but not much after that. The Clippers would push hard for the equalizer but Christopoulos held the fort and got good support around his net to keep it 1-0 Bulldogs after one, with the Clippers leading the shots 18-9.

The Clippers would once again control the better of the play to kick off the second, catching the Dogs at neutral ice with several long passes on the mark to create odd-man rushes. They would tie the game on a head-man pass up the left wing where Edwin Hookenson sent Jake Jackson in alone up the left wing where he put a perfect top corner short-side shot high past the blocker of Christopoulos to make it 1-1 just 1:53 into the second. The Bulldogs would continue to have the game taken to them as they turned the puck over at both blue lines and failed to generate much of an offensive attack, while the Clippers continued to push and stretch the ice. They would again catch the Dogs and take a 2-1 lead on a breakaway for Cole Maier who was sent in alone by Jake Jackson where he went top corner under the cross-bar glove side on Christopoulos at the 11:05 mark. The Clippers would push hard to build their lead, while the Bulldogs fought valiantly to keep it within reach. They had a great chance to tie the game when they caught the Clippers up ice and raced in on several 2 on 1 rushes but Zak Bowles missed the net on his attempt while Eric Margo was foiled on his bid by a great defensive play by Yanni Kaldis to slide and break it up with his stick. Shots favoured the Clippers 15-8 for a 40 minute total of 33-17.

The Bulldogs had more jump in the third period, but the Clippers did well to push back as the game stayed 2-1 through the Media timeout through the first 12 minutes and change of the third period. Things would pick up shortly afterwards though, as the Bulldogs would be awarded a power play to try and find the equalizer. Instead, it was the Clippers going up 3-1 while shorthanded as Jacob Hanlon blocked a shot at the blue line and raced in on a shorthanded breakaway where it appeared he scored as Christopoulos made the save but the puck bounced in off the Bulldog defender and over the line. There was no assist on the play as the Clippers took the lead with 6:38 to play, appearing to put the game away. Not so fast though, as big credit to the Dogs for refusing to quit on what was no doubt a very defeating moment. They would earn another power play with just under three minutes to play and called time out and pulled their goalie and gambled. They would be rewarded on it as Kurt Gosselin made a couple great plays to keep the puck in at the line before throwing a perfect D-to-D pass to the right point for Brett Stewart who blew a slap shot under the glove to Decelles to make it 3-2 at the 17:25 mark as all of a sudden it appeared to be a brand new game. Again, not so fast as the Clippers came right back with a dagger as they won a face off in the Bulldogs end back to the line to Nick Gushue who put a quick wrister on goal that was deflected up and over Christopoulos by Anthony Rinaldi, with Jake Jackson also drawing the assist at 17:43 to make it 4-2. The Dogs would pull Christopoulos for the extra attacker but Anthony Rinaldi would pick off an errant pass before gaining centre ice and sliding it into the empty net for the 5-2 Final.

Shots favoured the Clippers 44-27 with Billy Christopoulos taking the loss but earning 1st star honours while Guillaume Decelles picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 5 on the power play while the Clippers went 0 for 3.

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