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Friday, September 16, 2016

Clippers return favour, spoil Dogs home opener with 3-0 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 the player introductions and anthems, the game had fantastic pace from the outset and great end to end flow with no whistles through the first 3:53 of the game as the Referees and Linesman made a couple of good judgement calls to keep play going. The Clippers would have a good early chance on the rush, as a wrist shot hit the cross bar behind Brody Claeys and stayed out. The pace and compete level would stay high throughout the remainder of the period, but there wouldn't be any scoring. The Clippers did find the back of the Bulldog net - the goal was immediately waved off as a Clipper forward was planted inside the Bulldog crease and Brody Claeys didn't appear to be able to make any play on the shot. The Bulldogs would have a fantastic chance on a backdoor set up on a power play opportunity of their own later in the period, but it just failed to connect on what looked like an open net. Shots favoured the Clippers 9-6 after one.

The Clippers had a jump in their step to start the second, while the Dogs appeared to be half a step behind at times. The Dogs would fight the puck on back to back instances in their own zone, and that's all it took for the Clippers to open the scoring as an initial shot was stopped by Claeys in tight, but Vincent Millette was allowed three cracks at it before he finally banked one in from behind the goal line. There were no assists given on the play, at 3:34 of the second. The Bulldogs reacted well to the goal against, and pushed back. One notable chance saw Ryan Finnegan throw a cross-crease pass that again looked like a sure goal, but a good defensive play kept it out. The Dogs were unable to sustain much in the way of a consistent attack throughout the period as the Clippers took the 1-0 lead to the room after two. Shots in the period favoured the Clippers 15-9, for a game total of 23-15.

The third period saw the action again be played fairly tight, with neither team giving up much in the way of glaring chances. The Dogs would kill off back to back penalties, a short four-aside section in between, before earning a power play chance just short of the midway point of the third. For the second straight game, the Dogs weren't only unable to connect, but they instead gave up a shorthanded goal as Tristan Crozier fought through an initial Bulldog check to find a Jamie Collins pass and walk in alone on Brody Claeys where he converted on a forehand deke to make it 2-0 at 10:11 of the third. The Dogs would earn another power play with just under five minutes to play on a vicious cross-check across the face of Cayden Kraus that was somehow only called a minor penalty. The Dogs would gamble and pull their goalie to make it a 6 on 4 advantage, and once again had a fantastic opportunity on a wide open net on a cross-crease backdoor set up, but again they couldn't knock it home. The Dogs would lose their power play in the back half of it after taking their second bench minor of the game for too many men. The Dogs would earn one more great chance again on a rebound and an open net in the paint in the late stages, but couldn't connect to make a game of it. The Clippers would erase all doubt with less than a minute to play when two Bulldog forwards got crossed up at the attacking line and turned the puck over for Ben Solin, who made a nice diving play to hit the empty net from the Clipper side of centre at 19:22 of the third for the eventual 3-0 final.

Third period shots were even at 10-10, for a game total favouring the Clippers of 33-25. Both teams went 0 for 6 on the power play, while the Clippers scored once while shorthanded.

The Dogs are next in action tomorrow night when they host the Penticton Vees.


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