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Friday, December 12, 2014

Dogs fall 5-2 to Clippers

Not the tidiest or sharpest start to the game for either side as there were plenty of misplays on the puck on either side, but the Bulldogs still took a 1-0 lead just over one minute into the game as Marcus Russell found a loose puck in the slot and walked in alone through the slot where he snapped one top corner, far side under the bar over the blocker arm of Guillaume Decelles. Eric Margo also picked up an assist on the play at the 1:12 mark of the first. The play continued to be a little on the sloppy side through the early minutes, with both sides fighting the puck at times. The Bulldogs would get their game going a bid just short of the midway point of the period on a great shift by Zak Bowles, Eric Margo and Drew Blackmun kept the puck in the Clippers end for an extended period that saw several chances in the slot and around the net. Just a minute later it was a 1-1 game and the Teddy Bears were flying as a Bulldog defender turned the puck over in the zone right onto the stick of Brett Roulston who put a centering pass onto the tape of Nicholas Carrier who cut across the crease and backhanded one top corner over the glove of Nathan Warren to send the Teddy Bears flying. Taylor Green also picked up an assist on the play at 12:25 of the first with the score staying that way into period two with the shots in the Clippers favour 11-10 after 20 minutes.

The second period saw no scoring through the first half. The Clippers had a couple good chances with the Bulldogs struggling to move the puck in their end, but both Cole Maier and Anthony Rinaldi had shots hit the post as it stayed 1-1. The score would stay that way until the late stages of the second when the Bulldogs were awarded their first power play of the game - and just their second over the last two games - but they made it count as Kurt Gosselin walked the line from left to right and into the right circle where he threw a quick wrister on goal that was stopped by Decelles. Mitch Makin was again in the perfect position in front of the goal where he one-timed the rebound on his backhand through the fivehole of Decelles to make it 2-1 from Gosselin and Brett Stewart at the 17:10 mark of the second for a 2-1 Dogs lead after 40 minutes. Shots favoured the Dogs 11-10 in the period for a 21-21 tie after two periods.

The third period saw the Referee become an immediate factor, missing what appeared several obvious calls against the Bulldogs - obvious enough that the Bulldogs lost their cool and yelled in the Refs ear to complain. In engaging with a complaining Bulldog during the play, the Referee missed what looked like another infraction on Zak Bowles. During that play, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was given to the Dogs. Seconds later, another penalty went to the Bulldogs to hand the Clippers a 5 on 3 for 1:30 in duration. Not so fast though, as off the ensuing faceoff the Clippers would be penalized. They would connect on huge amount of open ice created by the 4 on 3 power play as Brendan Taylor jammed in a loose puck in the crease with assists to Cole Maier and Yanni Kaldis at 4:09 of the third to make it 2-2. A minute later, another penalty to the Bulldogs. Less than a minute later, and another Clippers power play goal on a deflected point shot made it 3-2 Nanaimo as Nicholas Carrier deflected a point shot past Nathan Warren with assists to Brett Roulston and Nicholas Gushue at 5:50 of the third period as in less than two minutes the Officiating had completely changed the complextion/flow/score of the game. Quite simply, what wasn't a penalty through the first 40 minutes of the game all of a sudden was - but only for a four minute span of the third period - and then wasn't again. Credit to the Clippers for seizing the opportunity that was presented to them, and at the same time the Dogs penalty kill needed to be better in this moment. The Bulldogs would call Time Out to try and right the ship and find their composure, and possibly get an ear from the Referee, but he would refuse to speak to anyone on the Bulldogs side of the puck. The Dogs pushed hard and didn't quit, but couldn't recover to find the equalizer as the Clippers hit the empty net twice in 5 seconds and change - first it was Brendan Taylor from Jacob Hanlon and Nicholas Gushue at 19:02 and then Nicholas Gushue from Spencer Hewson at 19:05 for the 5-2 Final.

Shots favoured the Clippers 31-28 with Nathan Warren took the loss while Guillaume Decelles picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 2 on the power play while the Clippers went 2 for 6.

 The Bulldogs weekend concludes tomorrow when they host the Vernon Vipers.


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