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Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Dogs top Clippers 4-3 in double OT for second straight win

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After a nice ceremony to start the game in Jamie Amos' honour, with both sides of the puck bearing gifts, the pace was high early but there wasn't much flow with plenty of whistles. The Bulldogs had the best early chances on a goalmouth scramble, but Austin Roden held his ground. The Clippers would push back and get some pucks on net through the midway point of he period, but the Dogs did a good job to limit any scoring chances. The Bulldogs would open the scoring in the late stages of the period, as a broken play at the Nanaimo line stayed on-side as Trevor Cosgrove walked into the top of the left circle and put a low wrist shot on net that had eyes to find the far corner along the ice. The lone assist went to Kyle Kaufmann at 14:29 of the period, but Braydon Nelson should have been in on the play as well as it was his drive to the net down the middle that saw the puck end up back up top for Cosgrove. The Dogs would earn a power play in short order following it after a big hit by Cam Kuhl. While they didn't score on the power play, they did connect just seconds later when Alex MacDonald put a slapper on net that was stopped by Roden, but the rebound went off him and a defender in front before finding the top corner. Assists went to Trevor Cosgrove and Auggie Moore at 19:47 of the first, for a 2-0 Dogs lead after one, with shots favouring Nanaimo 14-13.

The Clippers came to play in the second, while the Bulldogs appeared to be still enjoying their two-goal lead as despite an early period power play the Clippers got on the board as they were at a different level of play than the Dogs were. Jamie Collins broke up a cross-ice pass at the Nanaimo line, and then out-fought a Bulldog for it at centre to create a 2 on 1 rush. He put a perfect pass in front for Spencer Hewson, who was initially stopped by Claeys, and stopped a second time on a scramble, but Hewson was still able to find it and put a spinning wrist shot home from the side of the crease to make it 2-1, while shorthanded, with Jamie Collins drawing the only assist 45 seconds into the period. The Bulldogs didn't react well to the goal, as the Clippers continued to out work them on the following shift despite being out-manned, drawing a penalty to cancel the Dogs power play. There would be no scoring the rest of the way, with the Dogs leading 2-1 after 40 minutes. The Clippers out shot the Dogs 10-7 in the period, for a 24-20 total.

The third period started with the Dogs last man back coughing it up to Jake Harris, who walked in alone only o be stopped by Claeys who in desperation threw his glove against the post to keep it out. Alex MacDonald would then drive the Nanaimo net only to have Roden make a good save on a high backhand in tight. The Clippers would tie it up after some shenanigans prior to a draw in the Dogs end, with Will LeNeave stepping in and winning it. Austin Crossley would then walk into the deep slot where he put a quick release on net through traffic that bounced off Claeys pad and in, short-side to tie it at 2-2 at 6:18 of the third. The Bulldogs would take the lead back in the back-half of the third, after they failed to connect on a 5 on 3 power play of over 90 seconds in duration with the Clippers not giving up much. Seconds later it was 3-2 Dogs on the rush as Trevor Cosgrove pushed the pace up ice and over the Nanaimo line, before setting up Auggie Moore walking down the middle. He would dish off to right the side of the net for Ryan Steele who found the back of the net inside the far post of the blocker of Roden to make it 3-2 with 7:11 to play in the third. The Dogs were unable to make the lead stand, with the Clippers tying it up with less than two minutes to play as an extended shift in the Dogs end saw a centering pass onto the tape of David Silye in the hashmarks where he snapped one far-side off the blocker of Claeys and into the back of the net. Assists on the play went to Ben Solin and Adam Pilotte at 18:06 of the third. The Clippers would earn a power play on the next shift, with a chance to win the game in regulation but the Dogs penalty kill again stood tall to force overtime. Third period shots favoured Nanaimo 13-8 for a 60 minute total of  37-28.

The Bulldogs killed the rest of the penalty to start OT, and then earned a power play of their own on what I thought was a good hit on Auggie Moore, but the Officials thought different. Again the Clippers would kill it, with the Dogs unable to generate much as the game went to double OT. Each team would have a chance, with the Bulldogs winning it on an end to end rush by Alex MacDonald after two good saves by Brody Claeys. MacDonald carried the puck up the left wing over the line drove the middle and made two defenders miss. Jake Witkowski somehow found some gas to join him on the rush, one-timing a MacDonald drop pass on net from the slot. The initial chance would be stopped by Roden with his left pad, but Witkowski found the rebound and slapped it home to set off a wild celebration for the 4-3 win at 2:23 of overtime. The best moment in my opinion was when Brody Claeys threw on the brakes at the bench to abandon joining the celebration to instead hug Jamie Amos on the bench before going to retrieve the game puck for him.

Final shots favoured the Clippers 40-33 with Brody Claeys picking up the win while Austin Roden took the loss. The Dogs went 0 for 6 on the power play while the Clippers went 0 for 4 while also scoring once shorthanded.

The Dogs are next in action Saturday night when they host the Surrey Eagles.


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