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Monday, March 09, 2015

Dogs stay alive, top Clippers 2-1, force Game 6 at Dog Pound tomorrow night

A rather tame start to the game from each side as despite it being Game 5 of the series it almost looked as if the teams were feeling each other out. The Dogs had the edge in the play and the shots early, but not much in the way of Grade A chances. Shots favoured the Dogs 8-3 through the media time out at the midway mark of the first. The Clippers would push back with a couple good shifts over the ensuing minutes, but the Dogs held them off the board with Billy Christopoulos making a great save on Brendan Taylor with a half pad stack on a Jake Jackson pass. Late in the period the Dogs went to the net and Guillaume Decelles mishandled covering the rebound. He would indeed find it first, and would proceed to throw a fairly obvious punch with his glove hand on a fallen Bulldog in front of him. It's certainly not a big deal to not call that a penalty, but the Officials bring that non call into the spotlight a bit when minutes later the Dogs get penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for snowing the goalie. The Clippers would have a couple great chances on the advantage, most notably on a short-side miss that resulted in an open net on the end board bounce but Christopoulos made a good save going post to post to keep it out. Shots favoured the Dogs 12-11 after 20 minutes.

The Bulldogs would open the scoring - for the first time in the series - going up 1-0 just inside of five minutes into the second when Mitch Makin knocked a puck out at the Bulldog line and chased up ice on a one-on-one down the left wing. Makin would pound a slapper high on net that Decelles turned aside, but he couldn't control the rebound as Makin found it and centered it gor Garrett Halls who one-timed it home five-hole at 4:39 of the second. The Dogs would press for an insurance marker and came close to finding it but Guillaume Decelles made a fantastic glove save off a Logan Savard one-timer from the deep slot. The Clippers would start to push back after the goal however, and had a couple great chances to even it, but Christopoulos again stood tall, making a highlight reel save diving across the crease to rob Sheldon Rempal on an open net with the back of his glove. The Dogs were penalized soon afterwards, and had done a good job on the kill into the late seconds of it, clearing the zone. Everyone would appear to head off on a change however, and Guillaume Decelles took advantage with a headman pass that sent Yanni Kaldis in on the breakaway where he went backhand-five hole to slide it through Christopoulos for the power play marker at 10:53 of the second to make it 1-1. The Dogs didn't wilt under the pressure, as they pushed back and took the play the other way. They would get rewarded late in the period when Everett Putz swung a cross-ice pass through the slot that tipped off Eric Margo and back to the right point. Garrett Halls would one-time it low at the net where Everett Putz deflected it home short-side on Decelles to make it 2-1 at 19:35 of the second. The period would end with the Clippers being penalized on a neutral-zone interference play. Shots favoured the Clippers 20-12 in the period, for a 31-24 Nanaimo advantage after 40 minutes.

The third period was played fairly tight to the vest, with both sides not giving up much in the way of chances. A very interesting penalty call from the Referee a couple zones away from the incident saw the Dogs go down a man when Dylan Haugen attempted to shoot, Clipped a clipper with his stick, and got clipped himself resulting in Haugen bleeding and possibly missing some teeth. Haugen got the two minutes, but the Dogs came up with a big kill to protect their lead. A Bulldog power play would come soon afterwards, but they couldn't cash in for the insurance marker. The Dogs would hold the lead through the period, again coming up with a huge penalty kill with less than six minutes to play to keep it 2-1. The Clippers would push over the final minute and change with the goalie out for the extra attacker but the Dogs defence and Billy Christopoulos stood tall to kill the clock for the 2-1 final.

Shots favoured the Clippers 41-30 with Billy Christopoulos picking up 2nd star honours with the win while Guillaume Decelles took the loss. The Dogs went 0 for 4 on the power play while the Clippers went 1 for 4.

Game 6 goes at the Dog Pound tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 7pm. Ticket sales begin at the Bulldogs Office at 7am. Season ticket holders have until 12pm to secure their seats. The theme is BLACK OUT, so wear black.

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