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Friday, March 04, 2016

Dogs top Clippers 2-1, lead best of seven 1-0

Today'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.

A pretty good start to the game from both sides, with a high pace and none of the feeling out process. The Bulldogs had a couple of good looks early, before the Clippers had a couple good chances with Sheldon Rempal missing an open net on a back door set up, and Paul Meyer making a great stick save on the goal line on an open net on a 2 on 1 set up for Chris Dodero. Jordan Sandhu would get a wrist shot through Evan Johnson, but it sat just off the goal line before being cleared by the Clipper defence to keep it scoreless. The Bulldogs would generate a handful of glorious chances through the midway point of the period, but on repeated instances failed to hit the net. The Bulldogs would continue to press, and took a 1-0 lead on a beautiful backdoor set up by Nathan Dingmann, who took a pass from Marshall Skapski and walked the puck through centre and over the Clipper line up the right side where he stopped on the halfboards before snapping a cross ice pass onto the tape of Ryan Finnegan at the back door where he one-timed it through a valiant attempt by Johnson at 14:15 of the first. The Dogs would fail to score despite several good looks on a power play chance immediately afterwards, but they earned another power play before the period was out and connected on it when Nathan Dingmann took a pass from Paul Meyer and walked to the net through the right side of the slot and threw a puck at the net that deflected off a defender's stick and onto the tape of Ryan Finnegan who snapped it into the open side before Johnson could get over to make it 2-0 at 19:11 of the first. The Dogs out shot the Clippers 13-6 in the first.

The Clippers earned a power play early in the second period to try and get back into it, but the Bulldogs came up with a solid kill to protect their lead. Another opportunity soon afterwards again went Nanaimo's way, but again the Bulldog penalty killers didn't give up much. The Bulldogs would continue to push, spending extended periods of time in the Nanaimo end and generating good chances but being unable to capitalize on them. The period would turn near the end of it, with a series of questionable calls from the Referees having an impact on the game. A delayed penalty was coming to Nanaimo, and during the net drive Dominic Thom was attempting to go to the net where he was interfered with by Will Reilly. Thom would respond with some punches, and Reilly would retaliate with punches. The only penalty would somehow go to Thom. The Clippers would get on the board immediately afterwards when Sheldon Rempal kept the puck in at the line and walked into the top of the right circle where he blew a high slap shot past the glove of Claeys. Kale Bennett would draw an assist on the play at 19:14 of the second. On the next sequence on a Bulldog net drive Liam Conrad would fail to touch anyone, and at the whistle draw a punch to the head that knocked his helmet off. Somehow, Conrad would draw the only penalty. Trust me, I'd rather not have to talk about penalties or Officiating but when it's called as these sequences were it can't be ignored. Just 10 seconds into the power play Brody Claeys would make a solid save going across the crease to rob Sheldon Rempal. A full out rodeo would break out when Rempal slashed at Claeys with the puck not appearing to be loose. The calls would be even, with Devin Brosseau and Quinn Syrydiuk drawing the only minors. Shots in the period favoured the Bulldogs 10-6 for a two period advantage of 23-12.

The Dogs would kill off the remainder of the penalty to start the third period, and protected the lead to the midway point of the period when they had to come up with another kill after Owen Johnson took a shot while low to the ice that knocked his helmet off his head. Dominic Thom would then get caught hacking Sheldon Rempal away from the puck at centre ice seconds later, but again the Dogs came up with a big kill to protect the lead. The Clippers would have to Grade A chances the rest of the way to get the equalizer, with Brody Claeys first robbing Matt Hoover from in the paint on a bank pass from behind the goal line that he got his left toe on. Claeys would then come up with a game saver in the late minutes on Sheldon Rempal at the door step when the Bulldogs defence inexplicably both drove the net on the rush and gave up the 2 on 1 rush at the other end where Claeys went post to post to get his left heel low on the ice to keep it out. The Dogs would kill a big minute late in the game in the Clippers zone with Jordan Sandhu doing a fantastic job battling against Kale Bennett to keep the puck in the corner on back to back instances where Tristan Bukovec just kept putting it deep. With 46 seconds on the clock, neither team would call a time out. The Clippers would then call time out with 24 seconds left and a faceoff in the Dogs end. Adam Donnelly would win it to the half wall, where Chris Schutz would attempt to clear it before having his stick slashed clear out of his hands by Devin Brosseau resulting in a penalty to the Clipper captain and a faceoff in the Nanaimo end to seal the deal.

Third period shots favoured the Bulldogs 9-8 for a game total in their favour of 32-20 with Brody Claeys picking up the win in net while Evan Johnson took the loss. The Dogs went 1 for 3 on the power play while the Clippers went 0 for 5.

Game two goes Sunday night in Nanaimo at 7:00.


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