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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Clippers take 2-1 series lead with 3-2 overtime win.

Tonight's Game Report is brought to you courtesy of the Best Western Plus Barclay Hotel 

The BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel, the largest full facility hotel in Port Alberni, BC. When staying with us there is no need to give up conveniences you are used to. You can discover treasures to take home at the Alberni Harbour Quay, and then browse our onsite Cold Beer, Wine Store and liquor store or retreat to our Stamps Cafe or Pastimes Sports Bar and Grill to enjoy a snack or to watch the game on our big screen TV. Then, relax in our sauna or pool before settling in our luxurious accommodations to enjoy the vintage wine picked up earlier. That's when you will truly understand why the tranquil setting of our hotel has been called the perfect place to call home. If traveling on business, our Port Alberni Hotel boasts over 4500 square feet of meeting space in four rooms that are perfect for small conventions, banquets, parties, meetings and weddings. AV equipment and catering are also available.

After four whistles through the first minute of the game, the next five or six was a pleasure to watch, with the teams going end to end and the whistles few and far between. The Bulldogs would have a couple good looks around the Nanaimo net on rebounds, but they couldn't convert on them. They would earn the first power play chance of the game and have early control in the zone, but it would end up in the back of their net soon afterwards as Spencer Hewson did a great job to battle the puck out of the zone and into the Bulldog end. Brody Claeys would start to race out after it, then stop. He would then start to go again, before retreating again but in doing so he got caught in no-mans-land between the hashmarks and his crease as Yanni Kaldis drove wide to lift it in short-side high to make it 1-0 at 7:09 of the first. No assist was given on the play, but Hewson certainly deserved one. The Clippers would earn a power play four minutes later, and connected on it with a pretty set up as Sheldon Rempal put a cross-ice pass from the right wing half wall cross ice to the top of the left circle for Yanni Kaldis. He would put it rink wide off the net and onto the tape of Devin Brosseau, who tipped it perfectly top corner, far-side over the glove of Claeys to make it 2-0 at 11:37 of the first. The Bulldogs would push back and get the critical next goal, after a long dust up on a rebound at the Nanaimo net resulted in offsetting penalties. Chris Schutz would lose the draw, but fought through with a great effort to retain possession for Jordan Sandhu on the right wing wall. He put a pass to the top of the point for Owen Johnson, who put a quick release wrist shot low and off the net long-side where it was tipped in by Tristan Bukovec to make it a 2-1 game at 14:38 of the first. Shots in the period were even at 12-12.

The Bulldogs had a fantastic start to the second, racing out of the gate and putting up a 5-0 shots on goal advantage and putting a solid push on that saw them spend an extended period in the Nanaimo end. Unfortunately, they couldn't find the net while also taking a penalty at the end of the sequence. They would come up with a solid kill however to keep within one. The Bulldogs would draw back to back power play opportunities in the back half of the period, but they not only failed to score they weren't able to generate much in the way of opportunities to gain much in the way of momentum. The Clippers would earn a double minor with just 1.9 seconds to play in the period when Sheldon Rempal was high sticked and the Officials took a long look at him before deciding that blood had been drawn. Shots in the period favoured the Bulldogs 11-8, for a two period advantage of 23-20.

The Bulldogs would come up with a solid penalty kill on the double minor to start the third, with a series of good shot blocks and sticks in passing lanes combined with a great post to post save by Brody Claeys on Matt Hoover to keep it a one goal game. The Bulldogs would earn a power play chance later in the frame and failed to capitalize on it, but looked better than they had on their previous chances throughout the game. Almost immediately afterwards the Dogs would be sent to the box, but they again  came up with a very solid kill to limit the deficit. That would prove huge, as just 11 seconds later it was a 2-2 game when Eric Margo threw a shot at the net that was blocked, but came back to Dominic Thom at the right point. who fed it to Nathan Dingmann in the right circle, where he threw one on net from a sharp angle. Evan Johnson would make the save, but kick out a big cross-ice rebound onto the tape of Rhett Willcox who snapped it home before Johnson could get over to make it 2-2 at 11:52 of the third. The Clippers would have a handful of great opportunities in the ensuing minutes as the Bulldogs weren't tidy with the puck in their zone, but Brody Claeys came up big and the Clippers failed to capitalize. The Bulldogs would push through the last five minutes, having a couple good looks but being unable to find the net as the game went to sudden death overtime. Third period shots favoured the Bulldogs 13-7 for a 60 minute total of 36-27.

Overtime was played at a high pace through the first 10 minutes, with each team having chances around the net but nothing in the way of glaring chances or odd-man rushes. As the period wore on, it was obvious that the whistle was firmly put away at both ends of the ice. The Clippers would get the winner at 14:01 of overtime when Sheldon Rempal put a puck in deep to the right corner of the Bulldog zone. Two Bulldogs were on the scene, but one had his stick held onto and the other didn't make a good play on the puck as a feed below the goal line to the far side was intercepted and put out to the top of the left circle and onto the tape of Yanni Kaldis who one-timed it home through Claeys for the sudden death victory and the 3-2 final score.

Shots in overtime favoured the Bulldogs 9-6, for a game total in their favour of 45-33 with Brody Claeys taking third star honours while Evan Johnson took second star honours with the win. The Dogs went 0 for 4 on the power play, or -1 for 4 with the shorthanded goal against, while the Clippers went 1 for 5.

With the win the Clippers lead the series for the first time at 2 games to 1. Game four goes tomorrow night at the Dog Pound at 7:00pm.


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