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Friday, February 10, 2017

Dogs fall 3-1 to Clippers in Nanaimo

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 frantic start to the game, with both teams having nervous moments around their net with shots on goal resulting in rebounds that stayed out on scrambles. The Bulldogs would get a great opportunity at the side of the net off a Jordan Sandhu shot that snuck through DeBrouwer, but Tristan Bukovec couldn't get his stick free and just slid it wide of the post. The pace would stay high through the midway point of the period, with the Dogs having a 5-4 edge in shots, and an edge in zone time as well but being unable to get pucks on net on several instances when they had the Clippers hemmed in. The Bulldogs would earn the first power play of the game in the latter stages of the period, and had great attack through the first minute and change on it, including what looked like a sure goal on a scramble in the crease off a Jake Witkowski shot that resulted in a rebound in the feet of DeBrouwer that appeared to be headed to the back of the net before he appeared to snare it in midair off traffic to keep it scoreless. That would prove huge, as the Clippers would open the scoring seconds later as a turnover at the attacking line resulted in a partial breakaway that was chased down by David Silye. Just as a Bulldog defender met him at the puck in the hashmarks, he jammed a shot low, long-side inside the post and past the glove of Claeys. The goal was unassisted, at 16:02 of the first. The Bulldogs would show no signs of sagging, but appeared instead further inspired on the following faceoff as they again hemmed the Clippers in for a long stretch but couldn't get a Grade A chance to tie the game. Shots in the period favoured Nanaimo 12-8, although Statistician Dan Tisserand had the Bulldogs down for 11.

The Bulldogs tied it up less than a minute into the second, as Keith Anderson fought the puck out of the Bulldogs zone, where Jordan Sandhu supported it to skate it through centre. He would dish off to Tristan Bukovec over the Nanaimo line up the right wing, where he put a perfect pass onto the tape of Keith Anderson in the slot. He would make no mistake on the opportunity, picking the top corner, long-side over the blocker of DeBrouwer to make it a 1-1 game at 51 seconds of period two. The Dogs had a glorious chance to take the lead a minute later on a 2 on 1 rush created when Cayden Kraus picked off a pass at centre, seconds after a Connor Welsh back check broke up a Nanaimo 3 on 1. Kraus would gain the line and put a perfect cross-ice pass onto the tape of Nicholas Rasovic, but DeBrouwer came up with a big blocker save to keep it tied. The Clippers would take the lead back just short of five minutes in, as they caught the Bulldogs on a bad change when they never got the puck past centre ice, as Sean Buchanan made a pretty cross-ice pass onto the tape of Matt Creamer, who walked in alone to the right faceoff dot where he snapped a perfect shot long-side past the blocker of Claeys, post and in to make it 2-1. Matt Solin also drew an assist on the play at 4:58 of the second. The Bulldogs would earn a power play at the midway point of the period on a nasty hit on Trevor Cosgrove, and threatened repeatedly but couldn't beat DeBrouwer who made a couple solid saves. The Bulldogs had numerous chances throughout the period to tie it, with what felt like no less than five opportunities on an extended scramble in the Clipper crease, but couldn't buy a bounce to find the equalizer. The Clippers thought that they had some insurance in the late stages of period, but the goal was called back on a highstick. It looked like the correct call initially, and that appeared to be verified on the replay as it looked no less than two feet over the crossbar. The Bulldogs would push to the final buzzer after killing off a Clipper power play with a couple good saves by Claeys, and a near miss on a shorthanded in-alone net drive by Nicholas Rasovic, but Tristan Bukovec's shot just sailed past the post off a Jake Witkowski faceoff win with two seconds to play in the period. Shots were 14-12 Nanaimo, for a 26-22 advantage after 40 minutes.

The third period again began with a breakneck pace, with the Bulldogs continuing to push hard but being unable to get a break around the net, or a break from the Officiating on a handful of instances on attacking shifts in the Nanaimo zone. The Bulldogs would be penalized with 10 minutes to play in the third, but came up with a big kill to keep it a one-goal game, and got away with what looked like a clear penalty that would have made it a 5 on 3 opportunity as a Clipper defender beat a Bulldog with a stickhandling move before being taken down by a stick. A further series of whistle swallowings followed, with the Dogs unable to get a break. It looked like Keaton Mastrodonato was in alone on a breakaway on a stretch pass by Cole Slaney, but a Linesman who was trailing the play blew it down as offside. The Bulldogs would create a 2 on 1 with six minutes to play in the third, but DeBrouwer came up with a solid initial save on Jake Witkowski, and a rebound stop as well on Trevor Cosgrove. The Bulldogs would earn a power play with just under three minutes to play on a hit away from the play. They would generate a glorious chance to tie it up on a backdoor one-timer for Ryan Steele on a Jake Witkowski pass, but DeBrouwer again made a fantastic save going post to post to get his right toe on it to preserve the one goal lead. The Bulldogs would pull their goalie for the extra attacker while in the zone, and parlayed it into a Grade A chance at the top of the crease for Mackenzie Wight, but as was the theme of the night the puck went off the top of his blade and onto a Clipper stick. Josh Blanchard would race up ice on a 2 on 1 rush, with the last man back not challenging him as he wasn't aware that the goalie was out for an easy empty netter and a 3-1 lead with 1:04 to play and Sean Buchanan drawing the only assist.

Shots in the third favoured the Clippers 12-7, for a game total in their favour of 38-29. Brody Claeys earned 2nd star honours with the loss, while Evan DeBrouwer picked up 1st star honours with the win. The Dogs went 0 for 3 on the power play, while the Clippers went 0 for 2 while also scoring twice shorthanded.

The Dogs are next in action tomorow night at home when they host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.


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