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Friday, March 11, 2016

Clippers top Dogs 7-3 to win series in Game 5

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

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A fairly tame start to the game, with each side seeming to play it somewhat tight to the vest through the first five minutes. The Clippers would earn the first power play of the game soon afterwards, as Adam Donnelly got rid of the puck and then appeared to take a stick up high that went uncalled before he got caught on a retaliation slash. The Clippers would connect on the advantage when Gavin Gould walked to the top of the right circle and put a cross-ice pass off the back door for Nolan Aibel, who deflected it on net where it was stopped by Brody Claeys. He couldn't control it off his pad however, as it went across the crease where it was jammed in by Chris Dodero to make it 1-0 at 10:12 of the first. The Dogs had a good chance to tie the game soon afterwards, but Evan Johnson came up with a pad stop on a Ryan Finnegan deflection attempt on a nice pass to the net by Nathan Dingmann. The Clippers would race up ice and catch the Dogs on a 3 on 1 rush, with Brody Claeys going post to post to rob Chris Dodero on a pretty set up cross-ice by Nolan Aibel. The Clippers would take a 2-0 lead two minutes later, with the Bulldogs having control of the puck in their zone but being unable to make an outlet pass before turning it over as it came to the net front where Devin Brosseau was stopped initially by Claeys, but Sheldon Rempal was there to bang the rebound home to make it 2-0 at 16:17 of the first and into the second. Shots favoured the Clippers 13-5 through the first.

The Bulldogs failed to connect on back-to-back power play chances to start the second, but kept up the pressure a couple minutes later to get on the board and make a game of it at the end of a long containment shift in the Clipper zone by Eric Margo, Tristan Bukovec and Brandon McReynolds finally saw the puck knocked loose to the slot where Eric Margo snapped it home long side under the arm of Johnson. No assists were given on the play, but it certainly looked like both Bukovec and McReynolds deserved one, as it was a 2-1 game at 5:19 of the second. The Bulldogs couldn't build on the momentum however, as just a minute and change later the Clippers went to the power play where they again connected on it as Will Reilly took a backdoor pass from Sheldon Rempal and put a perfect top corner, short-side high finish past Claeys. Yanni Kaldis also drew an assist on it at 8:07 of the second to make it 3-1. Just two minute and change later it was a 4-1 game as the Clippers connected on a 2 on 1 rush as Nolan Aibel walked down the left wing and into the top of the circle and snapped it home long-side low. Gavin Gould and Yanni Kaldis picked up the helpers at 11:26 of the second. The Clippers would earn another power play almost immediately afterwards, when it looked to me that Nolan Aibel hit Quinn Syrydiuk onto Evan Johnson yet Syrydiuk was whistled for goalie interference. The Clippers took advantage of it for the third straight time in the game as Brody Claeys made the initial save but Devin Brosseau chipped the rebound up and over him from just outside the crease to make it 5-1, with the assists to Sheldon Rempal and Matt Hoover at 13:25 of the second. Another 2 on 1 rush made it a 6-1 lead with 2:07 to play in the period as a head-man pass was picked up by Corey Renwick who was allowed to walk right in to the left faceoff dot where he ripped one home top corner, far-side over the shoulder of Brody Claeys. The goal wasn't un-assisted, but that was the official scoring play. The Clippers out outshot the Dogs 14-11 in the period, for a two period advantage of 27-17.

The Bulldogs showed no quit despite the dire circumstances to start the third period, connecting on the power play before the period was a minute old as Nathan Dingmann put a pass into the left corner for Ryan Finnegan, who walked to the net before putting a cross-crease pass that went through the feet of Adam Donnelly. Paul Meyer would find it at the right wing and blindly spin and fire a wrist shot that beat a screened Johnson high short-side to make it a 6-2 game at 50 seconds of the third. The Bulldogs would chase the game, but show no quit throughout as they made it a 6-3 game with just over ten minutes to play while shorthanded as Liam Conrad stole the puck at the Clipper line where Tristan Bukovec walked down the left wing and made a quick series of head fakes before snapping one home top corner, short-side over the blocker of Johnson at 9:29 of the third. The Dogs again couldn't build on the momentum though, as before the penalty was over the Clippers scored their fourth power play goal of the game when a Kale Bennett shot from the left point was stopped by Carson Schamerhorn - who came off the bench to start the third, but he couldn't control the rebound as it went cross-crease where Nolan Aibel hammered it home for his second of the game and the eventual 7-3 final score. Gavin Gould also drew an assist on the play at 10:25 of the third. There was further fireworks with just under three minutes to play as the Dogs saw a glimmer of hope after earning a two-minute 5 on 3 power play when Sheldon Rempal took a Garrett Halls hit that he didn't like, chasing down Halls and slashing him drawing a delayed penalty. He would again go at Halls after the whistle and throw a pretty ugly head-high cross-check, with Devin Brosseau also coming in to cross-check Halls after the whistle up high breaking his stick in the process. The Bulldogs would pull their goalie to make it a rare 6 on 3 power play, but despite several loose pucks around the net they couldn't get anything to go as time expired.

Third period shots favoured the Bulldogs 11-8, with the Clippers leading the game at 35-27. Evan Johnson picked up the win while Brody Claeys took the loss playing 40 minutes. Special teams were all over the board - the Bulldogs went 1 for 4 on the power play while also scoring once while shorthanded, while the Clippers went a lethal 4 for 6.

With the win the Clippers take the series in five games and the Bulldog season is over. The Clippers will take on Powell River or Cowichan in the Island Final series.

Further thank yous and a closing on the blog will come in the next while - for now, I'm dreading the void that will exist with a lack of hockey, and the blog and the broadcasts. It's a big adjustment. I will strive to fill it with my family and friends!

Thanks to everyone that supports the blog, the team and the broadcasts. You are my motivation to keep on plugging to keep up the standard I've set here and on the air.


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