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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Dogs drop 4-3 OT heart breaker to Clippers

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.

A thunderous start to this game, as Mackenzie Wight wasted no time in returning from a 10 game absence due to injury, chasing down Taylor Karel with a big hit just 5 seconds into the game. The Dogs opened the scoring just short of three minutes in when Paul Savage pinched down the right wing to keep the puck in the zone. Kyle Kaufmann would throw a hit behind the goal to dislodge the puck for Cayden Kraus, who walked out the far side and put a perfect pass to the slot that Paul Savage ripped home, high short-side past the blocker of Evan DeBrouwer to make it 1-0 at 2:54 of the first. The Dogs continued over the next several minutes to have an edge in the play and generated a couple great chances as a result of it, but they couldn't bury them to build their lead. The Clippers would get their feet going and generated two glorious chances of their own, with Brody Claeys coming up with huge pad saves on cross-crease set ups for both Jamie Collins and Myles Cunningham. The Clippers would get the equalizer just after the midway point of the period, when a dump in from centre ice was found in the left corner by Lucas Finner. He would put a beautiful cross ice feed to the back post to a wide open Matt Creamer who beat a diving Claeys with a good high finish at 11:16 of the first, with Ben Solin also drawing an assist. The Clippers would have a great chance to take a lead just four minutes later, but Claeys stopped Lucas Finner on a breakaway to keep it tied. The Clippers would draw a power play a minute and change later, and cashed in on it to take a 2-1 lead as Lucas Finner walked out of the right corner to the bottom of the circle where he beat Claeys with a perfectly placed short-side high wrister. The only assist on the play went to Matt Creamer at 16:34 of the first. Shots in the period favoured the Bulldogs 16-12.

 The second period started at a breakneck pace, with the Clippers generating a couple good chances in tight with Brody Claeys standing tall to keep it 2-1. He would then make a huge save to keep the Dogs in it a minute later, going post to post on the rush to rob Josh Blanchard on a backdoor set up. The Dogs would respond almost immediately to tie the game, as Paul Savage dumped  it in from centre ice into the left corner of the Nanaimo zone. Alex MacDonald would skate onto it, and put a pefect pass to the slot for Henry Marshall, who beat DeBrouwer with a backhand low inside the far post to make it 2-2 at 3:17 of the second. The pace remained high through the remainder of the period, with each team getting their chances but neither side being able to capitalize on them. The best Bulldog chances might have been while shorthanded in the late stages of the period, as both Ryan Steele and Henry Marshall were stopped in tight by DeBrouwer. Shots in the period favoured the Bulldogs 9-8 Bulldogs for a 40 minute total of 25-20.

The Dogs had a power play for under 30 seconds to start the third that they couldn't cash in on it. They would generate a great chance on a steal behind the net that saw Alex MacDonald and Ryan Steele work the puck loose to the front of the net where Henry Marshall was stopped on a one-timer by DeBrouwer. The Clippers would go up ice and take the lead almost immediately afterwards, with Jamie Collins getting a step on the Bulldog defence to chace down a clearing attempt and walk up the left wing in deep where he put a far-side wrist shot off the glove of Claeys and in to make it 3-2 at 5:06 of the third, with Vincent Millette drawing the only assist. The Dogs were then penalized soon aferwards on what seemed like a ridiculous call if I saw it right, as a Bulldog shot missed the net and ended up on the back of the Clipper goal. Mackenzie Wight would try to wack the puck free, only to be penalized for slashing. While the Bulldogs would kill the penalty, the Clippers parlayed it into momentum that they carried forward for several minutes, before drawing another penalty. The Bulldogs would again kill that to keep it a one-goal game and then looked to draw a sure penalty with Ryan Steele walking in alone from the hash marks wearing Nanaimo sticks but being unable to somehow draw a call. The Dogs would tie it a minute later, on what might have been a blown call in their favour as Jake Witkowski put a puck on net from the right corner at a sharp angle that hit DeBrouwer and might have then hit a Bulldog glove as it went skyward before ending up in the slot on the tape of Trevor Cosgrove, who one-timed it home far side to make it 3-3 at 14:27 of the third. The goal broke the Bulldog franchise record for Defenceman goals in a season with 15. The Bulldogs were again penalized with 50 seconds left in the third period, but killed it off to preserve the point to get it to overtime. Third period shots favoured the Clippers 12-10 for a 60 minute advantage of 35-32 Bulldogs.

The Dogs killed the penalty to start overtime, with Brody Claeys coming up with a couple good saves and Henry Marshall coming up with a huge shot block. Ryan Steele would have a great chance to win it on a breakaway down the right wing but couldn't get a shot on net while fighting off a defender. Nick Rasovic would then drive the net down the left wing to skate in alone, but also couldn't get a shot on goal or draw a call as he went airborne through the paint. The Clippers would win the game on a rush up ice as Jake Harris walked across the slot from the right wing into the left circle where he beat Brody Claeys high far-side for the 4-3 final at 3:11 of overtime with Ben Solin drawing the only assist.

Shots in OT favoured the Clippers 3-2, and the Bulldogs 37-35 on the game with Brody Claeys taking the loss and Evan DeBrouwer picking up the win. The Dogs went 0 for 3 on the power play while the Clippers went 1 for 5.

The Bulldogs are next in action Tuesday night in Powell River.


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