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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Clippers top Dogs 6-1 to take 1-0 series lead

A solid first shift for the Bulldogs was all for naught on the second one as the Clippers went up 1-0 before the game was a minute old as they scored on the rush from a faceoff in their end as Jake Jackson walked up the left wing wide before throwing a sharp angle centering pass at the crease where it deflected off a Bulldog defender and in to make it 1-0 just 54 seconds into the game with Brendan Taylor picking up the only assist. The Bulldogs would absolutely dominate the next 15 minutes or so of hockey, as they continually won all the races and the battles and had the Clippers hemmed into their zone for extended periods getting a handful of great chances both on the rush and in tight. The best opportunity was when Guillaume Decelles dove out of his net to poke check the puck, only to have it picked off by Drew Blackmun who put it right back on net but had it hit the post and stay out. The Clippers would again score on the rush well against the flow of play as the Dogs got caught stepping up at the offensive blue line resulting in another two on one rush that saw Jake Jackson kept the puck up the left wing and pick the top corner, short-side on Christopoulos. The only assist on the play went to Anthony Rinaldi was it was 2-0 Clippers at the 16:07 mark of the first. Shortly afterwards the first heated exchange of the series broke out as Eric Margo caught Jake Jackson skating laterally through neutral ice fighting the puck where he levelled him with what I thought was a clean check. The Officials didn't, and neither did Brendan Taylor or Anthony Rinaldi as they both jumped Margo in retaliation. Margo would get a penalty for the hit, and for defending himself as the Dogs came out of the fray down a man. Shots favoured the Bulldogs 14-10 after the first, although Dan Tisserand had the Dogs putting 18 shots on net.

The Dogs would kill the penalty, but end up down a man again shortly afterwards as Troy Dobbs went to hit Nicholas Carrier who got both his hands up and contacted Dobbs up high. Dobbs would retaliate and give him a shot back - and he would pick up the only penalty. The Dogs would do a great job to kill off the 2:00 minor, but at the second Dobbs was free from the box the Clippers built their lead to 3-0 when Jake Jackson completed the natural hat trick on a deflection at the net front with Devin Brosseau picking up the only assist - but their should have been - at the 5:29 mark of the second. Just 16 seconds later it was 4-0 as the Dogs were again caught stepping up at the offensive blue line giving up a 2 on 1 rush that saw Ryan Forbes accept a perfect rink-wide pass from Corey Renwick and then make a pretty backhand move to avoid Christopoulos' poke check and slide it home five hole. Edwin Hookenson also drew an assist at the 5:45 mark of the period. The Bulldogs would manage to earn a power play shortly after the midway mark of the game and had a couple good looks on it, most notably when Scottie Clark walked to the slot where he couldn't get a shot away with a couple of sticks over his arms. The Bulldogs would protest the non-call to the point that with the play continuing on one of the two Referees wasn't even looking at the ice but was instead getting into a verbal jousting match with the Bulldog Coaches as the play continued on. Not sure I've seen that before, to that extent, at least. The Clippers would build their lead to 5-0 late in the period on a mad scramble around the Dogs net that saw Jake Jackson spin and fire one high past a prone Christopoulos for his fourth of the game from Brendan Taylor and Ryan Coghlan at 17:15 of the second. Shots were even at 13 aside in the period, for a 27-23 Dogs advantage after two.

The third period was for the most part flat with the large Clipper lead, save for the hot tempers on both sides of the puck in several skirmishes that the Bulldogs came out of a man down. Just short of the midway mark of the frame Tyler Povelovskie picked up a minor for cross-checking at centre just seconds after getting tackled by Nick Gushue in front of the Clipper net. The Clippers would make quick work on the man advantage when Anthony Rinaldi was found all alone in front of the net un covered where he tucked it around Christopoulos to make it 6-0. Assists went to Brendan Taylor and Nick Gushue at 9:48 of the third. Despite the huge hole the Dogs didn't quit, as they fought hard to at least break the goose egg, albeit with the Clippers on cruise control as Garrett Halls fought the puck over the Clippers line and battled it on goal. Chris Schutz would drive the net and pot the rebound through the legs of Decelles before he could recover to make it 6-1 at 13:15 of the third. That would be as close as the Dogs would get however as the Clippers made the lead stand.

Final shots favoured the Bulldogs 42-29 with Billy Christopoulos taking the loss while Guillaume Decelles picked up 3rd star honours with the win.

Game two goes tomorrow night again at the Frank Crane.


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