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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Dogs fall 3-1, Clippers lead series 2-0.

The Bulldogs appeared to fight the puck a little early in this contest as the Clippers came out with a good start. The Dogs avoided making any glaring mistakes to find themselves down early. Billy Christopoulos would look sharp when called upon The Dogs got their feet going as the period wore on, and generated a couple good chances in tight themselves. There were a couple frustrating sequences from the Bulldog perspective when it came to the Officiating throughout the period. Eric Margo has a scoring chance taken away in the slot and, threw a crosscheck - deserving of a call, and then gets roughed up excessively after the whistle. Minutes later Tyler Poveloskie took a heap of abuse fromAustin Dick - who incredibly received absolutely nothing, while Eric Therrien got four minutes and the Dogs ended up a man short. The Dogs would kill the penalty well, but shortly afterwards the Clippers opened the scoring as Nick Gushue walked into the right circle and blew a slap shot far-side through the blocker arm of Christopoulos. Assists on the play went to Spencer Hewson and Austin Dick at 14:05 of the first for a 1-0 Clipper lead after one, with the Clippers up in the shots 10-8.

The second period was played pretty tight, with not much in the way of chances. As much as the Dogs had complaints about penalties through the first, the Clippers might have had them in the second. One instance saw Josh Adkins get his stick stuck in the feet of the puck carrier seemingly in front of the entire rink, only to see no penalty call. Later in the period Tyler Povelofskie bumped Guillaume Decelles who surprised I think everyone by covering the puck up. Povelofskie would then be drilled from behind after the whistle by Sean Buchanan, who picked up the only minor. The Dogs would struggle on their first power play of the period, but looked much better on their second chance. The Clipper's killers however did a fantastic job of blocking shots as both Mitch Makin and Garrett Halls had great looks but couldn't get the puck on net. The Dogs would then fail on back to back instances to get the puck in deep on dump ins. It would come back to haunt them as they missed on an attempt to change, and then got caught rushing the change on the second instance as they were whistled for too-many-men. After 20 plus seconds of four-aside hockey, the Clippers would connect on the power play as Edwin Hookenson went D-to-D to Sean Buchanan at the right point where he one-timed a hard high one at the net that was deflected home by Jake Jackson up and off the back cross-bar. The Dogs would complain that it was a high stick, but I didn't think it was, and the math doesn't work out on that arguement as the puck was tipped up and not down. Just my two cents, as Jackson got credit for his fifth goal in as many periods for a 2-0 Nanaimo lead at 17:34 of the second. The Dogs out shot the Clippers 10-5 over the period for an 18-15 Bulldog advantage after 40 minutes.

The Bulldogs would make it a brand new game just three minutes into the third period when Drew Weich worked the puck loose in the Dogs zone for Eric Margo. He made a perfect pass to Drew Blackmun, who carried the puck over the Clippers line up the right wing before snapping one from the deep slot high, short-side past Decelles to make it 2-1 at 3:01 of the third. The score stayed that way with the Dogs coming up with a big penalty kill. Later in the period just past the midway point both teams would have a series of glorious chances, but both goalies stood tall. First it was Christopoulos stopping Jake Jackson on a breakaway. Seconds later Guillaume Decelles made a fantastic right toe save on a Chris Schutz one-timer on a great Mitch Makin set up. The Clippers had another chance moments later, but Cole Maier put a one-timer off the post blocker-side on Christopoulos and it stayed out. The score would stay that way until the late stages of the game when the Dogs pulled their goalie for an extra attacker and a draw in the attacking zone and 1:35 on the clock. The Dogs would generate two or three good looks in the slot and in the crease, but they couldn't beat Decelles. With just over 20 seconds to play it became a 6 on 4 situation as Nick Gushue was whistled for going over the line cross-checking Tyler Povelofskie at the top of the crease. In what would have to have been the least likely result, a false start faceoff was followed by a puck drop that saw Austin Dick one-hand swipe at the puck in the circle and split the Dogs defence while clearing it. The puck would spin on edge like a top and just sneak over the line to make it 3-1 Clippers at 19:39 with Jacob Hanlon drawing the only assist for the 3-1 final score.

Shots favoured the Bulldogs 30-23 with Billy Christopoulos and Guillaume Decelles being the goalies of record. The Dogs went 0 for 3 on the power play while the Clippers went 1 for 3.

The Clippers did their job and held their serve on home ice, now the Dogs need to do the same. Game 3 goes Friday at the Dog Pound.


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