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Friday, November 07, 2014

Dogs drop a crazy one, 5-4 to Clippers in OT

After a delay to start the game due to the introduction of the Clipper's parents, it was game on in a hurry as the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead making quick work of an early power play opportunity as Evan Tironese lunged to keep the puck in and get it to the left point for Kurt Gosselin, who threw a quick shot on the net that was deflected by Mitch Makin. Guillaume Decelles would make the first save but he couldn't control the rebound as Chris Shutz lifted it into the open side for a 1-0 Bulldogs lead just 2:17 into the game. After a great attacking follow up shift by Eric Margo, Drew Blackmun and Marcus Russell saw several good looks at the net, the Clippers would start to carry the play. They would tie the game at 1-1 on their second power play opportunity of the game on an odd broken play as a puck that was in the air bounced in the slot where it was one-timed on goal on the bounce by Brendan Taylor. There would be no assists on the play at 15:02 of the first. Shortly afterwards, the Clippers went to a full, two minute two man advantage after a too-many-men penalty against the Bulldogs was followed up by an after-the-whistle penalty. The Dogs would kill it magnificently, with Nathan Warren coming up with a couple good saves to keep it 1-1 after one, with the shots favouring Nanaimo 21-7.

The second period saw the Bulldogs come out and play a much better game, getting chances around the goal and pushing the pace. The game would slow considerably when Kurt Gosselin was drilled, head-first into the corner without the puck by Ryan Forbes. Zak Bowles would immediately drop his gloves and come to Gosselin's defence with Forbes dropping the gloves in return. The Referees would somehow not give a check-from-behind to Forbes, but instead a minor penalty, with a double minor for roughing, while Bowles picked up 2-5 and a game, resulting in four-aside hockey. The Bulldogs would immediately start dominating when the puck was dropped, generating a series of glorious chances before eventually finding the net as Evan Tironese carried the puck back to the line with two Clippers chasing him, before dropping it down the boards for Scott Clark. Tironese then drove the net and accepted a return pass from Clark for a partial breakaway where he snapped one low past the glove of Decelles to make it 2-1 at 8:56 of the second. The Clippers would be penalized after the whistle late in the period, resulting in the Bulldogs capitalizing and going up 3-1 as they battled through what looked like bad ice on several instances that saw the puck bounce out of the attacking zone. Kurt Gosselin would walk to the left circle before setting up Scott Clark wide open in the slot where he ripped a shot on net that was deflected home by Mitch Makin at 18:13 of the second. The Dogs out shot the Clippers 16-10 for a two-period advantage for the Clippers of 31-23.

The Clippers pushed hard to get back into it in the third period, and the Bulldogs pushed back, hitting three successive posts on a breakaway by Everett Putz, and on rebounds in tight on the power play. The Clippers would make a game of it just past the midway mark when Ryan Forbes stepped up and found a puck that was blocked at centre ice by one of the linesmen. He would carry it over the Bulldogs line and rip a slap shot from the right circle, top corner past the blocker of Nathan Warren to make it 3-2 at 10:35 with Corey Renwick picking up the only assist. The Dogs did a good job to respond to the lead being cut in half, doing a good job to get pucks deep and kill the clock. The Clippers would continue to push however, and got the equalizer with 3:10 to play when a shot from the left point was deflected home by Brett Roulston, with assists going to Cole Maier and Kale Bennett. The Clippers would get the go-ahead goal and their first lead of the game with 2:52 to play on a questionable icing call against the Bulldogs as a faceoff win was found by Jake Jackson who walked un touched to the slot where he fired one home past he glove of Warren to make it 4-3 Clippers with Jacob Hanlon and Cole Maier picking up the assists at 17:08. The Bulldogs would answer right back immediately to tie it back up however, as Brett Stewart threw a puck on goal from the right point that somehow found it's way through Decelles. Assists on the play went to Scottie Clark and Evan Tironese at 17:31 of the third to make it 4-4 and force overtime with the Clippers out-shooting the Dogs . 19-11 for a 60 minute total of 50-34.

In OT the Dogs would control the play early, with Evan Tironese making a nifty move to make a defender miss and get in on goal where Decelles made a great save on a one-handed backhand attempt. Another chance a moment later saw Decelles stop a Christ Schutz one-timer from the top of the crease. Tironese would go back to the front of the net while the Dogs kept posession, only to be cross-checked in the back without the puck. The Clippers would immediately skate up ice and win the game on a gorgeous set up as Yanni Kaldis out-waited the Dogs defender and threw a cross-ice pass onto the tape of Brendan Taylor who one-timed it home top corner, short-side before Warren could get over at 1:04 of overtime for the 5-4 final.

Final shots favoured the Clippers 51-35 with Nathan Warren playing fantastic in taking the loss while Guillaume Decelles picked up the win. The Dogs went 2 for 5 on the power play while the Clippers went 1 for 6.

A fantastically entertaining game against two great games, really tough calls both ways made and missed, in the end well worth the price of admission.

The teams meet again next Friday in Nanaimo. Next up for the Dogs is their involvement in the Battle of the Badges Charity Hockey game tomorrow night at 7:00, while they host Powell River Sunday afternoon at 2pm. 

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