Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Dogs fall 5-2 to Clippers in Nanaimo
Tonight's Game Report is brought to you courtesy of the Best Western Plus Barclay Hotel
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The Clippers had the best early chance, just inside the first minute of the game as Sheldon Rempal picked up a long cross-ice pass on a bad Bulldog line change. Brody Claeys was equal to the task, coming up with the save on the leagues leading scorer to keep it 0-0. The Dogs had the better of the opportunities early, but couldn't find the net. A beautiful set up on the rush by Ryan Finnegan sent Nathan Dingmann in alone, but Evan Johnson came up with a big blocker save. Seconds later the Clippers got on the board as a long pass up the right wing was picked up by Sheldon Rempal, who walked down the right side and put a shot on net that appeared to deflect off a defender's stick and past Claeys short-side inside the post to make it 1-0 at 11:55 of the first with Edwin Hookenson drawing the only assist. The Dogs went to the power play late in the period, but unfortunately took a penalty to make it four-on-four hockey. A solid shift would see them Capitalize on it as Owen Johnson kept the puck in at the line and put it wide of the net where it was chased down by Cayden Kraus. He would out-fight a couple of Clippers before digging it free for Liam Conrad who walked to the net down the right side where he snapped one home short-side past the glove of Evan Johnson to make it 1-1 at 18:11 of the first. Shots were even at 13 aside through 20 minutes.
The Clippers had another great chance inside the first two minutes of the second, but again Brody Claeys came up with a big pad save on a Sheldon Rempal breakaway chance. The Clippers went to a power play looking for the go-ahead goal just passed the midway point of the second, but it was the Dogs with the best chance on a shorthanded 2 on 1 as Tristan Bukovec had a rebound off the stick of Owen Johnson go off the top of his stick and just wide on an open net. A Chris Schutz breakaway seconds later would be kept out by Johnson. The Clippers had a glorious chance later in the period when neither Referee called a penalty when Jordan Sandhu had his stick hacked out of his hands on a cross-ice pass through the slot and what looked like an open net. Just seconds later the Clippers would get yet another breakaway, with Brody Claeys coming up with not one but two saves on Devin Brosseau. The score remained tied until the dying seconds of the period when the Clippers went end-to-end and someone missed their man on the backcheck as Sheldon Rempal passed across the slot to Devin Brosseau, who relayed to the back post for Matt Hoover who one-timed it home into the open side with just 24 seconds left in the period for a 2-1 Nanaimo lead after two. The Clippers out shot the Dogs 12-9 in the period for a 25-22 lead after 40 minutes.
The Bulldogs began the third with a power play chance, and wasted no time connecting on it as Chris Schutz poked the draw ahead for an immediate 2 on 1 rush for Nathan Dingmann and Eric Margo. Dingmann would put a far-pad low shot on net that resulted in a rebound that Margo battled home to make it 2-2 just 7 seconds into the third. The tie score was short lived as less than a minute later it was 3-2 as Sheldon Rempal was found all alone in the slot where he deked and fired it home short-side on Claeys. Assists on the play went to Yanni Kaldis and Devin Brosseau at 41 seconds of the third. If that wasn't the dagger, it certainly came less than two minutes later as the Dogs turned it over at the attacking line, and a D-man got caught standing at the line giving up a 2 on 1 rush that saw Nolan Aibel make a great cross-ice pass onto the tape of Matt Kowalski who chipped it up and over the shoulder of Claeys at 2:34 of the third to make it 4-2. The Bulldogs didn't quit, and had several point-blank wide open chances deep in the slot but Johnson stood tall to protect the lead. Clippers would complete the scoring after a couple soft back-to-back calls against the Dogs put them on a 5 on 3 power play for just under a minute. They would take advantage of it when Devin Brosseau set up Sheldon Rempal out front off the back post after an initial chance just missed on the opposite side to make it 5-2 at 12:06 of the third for the eventual final score. The Dogs pulled their goalie and played a man up for the final three minutes and change, but couldn't find the net to get within two.
Third period shots favoured the Bulldogs 13-9 for a game total also favouring the Dogs 35-34 with Brody Claeys taking the loss while Evan Johnson picked up the win. Both teams went 1 for 5 on the power play.
The Bulldogs finally return to home ice on Friday night when they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals for their first home game of 2016.