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Friday, October 06, 2017

Dogs fall 2-1 in double OT to Clippers

For a game that had but one whistle in the first four minutes, the start was still somewhat slow with not much in the way of shots either way. Action would pick up in a hurry though, with the Clippers opening the scoring due to poor zone coverage by the Bulldogs that saw Jake Harris set up on the door step with no one around him and nothing but time as he had John Hawthorne down and out before tucking a backhand home into the yawning cage. Assists on the play went to Tristan Crozier and Jack MacNab at 6:13 of the first. The Bulldogs would push back immediately, drawing a penalty less than half a minute later. They would look sharp on the first minute of the advantage, with Austin Roden forced to make a couple good saves to protect the lead. He would have no chance in the dying seconds of the power play on a pretty set up that saw Darren Rizzolo take a pass from Sami Pharaon at the top of the point, before dishing off to Ryan Steele on the right wing wall. He would put a hard cross-seam pass to the left faceoff dot for Brandon Bergado, who one-timed it home short-side before Roden could get over to make it 1-1 at 8:36 of the first. There would be no scoring the rest of the way, with each side having their chances but both goalies keeping it tied into the room after 20 minutes. Shots favoured Nanaimo 9-5.

The Dogs began the second period with an early power play, but couldn't make it count despite a couple good looks. They would then be penalized back to back, but killed them both off, with Hawthorne forced to make one really good save with his right toe on a set up to the front of the net for Jack MacNab. The Bulldogs had a great chance to take the lead on a shorthanded breakaway for Cole Poliziani, but Roden appeared to just get a chunk of the shot with his glove to force it off the crossbar. The Bulldogs earned a power play later in the period, and for the first minute had a couple good looks, most notably a backdoor set up for Connor Welsh that somehow didn't find the back of the net. The Clippers would push for extended periods on several instances in the back half of the period but the Dogs didn't give up much in the way of shots, although the Clippers did have a couple of dangerous looking scrambles in the crease on jam in attempts from below the goal line.

Shots in the period were 12-8 Clippers, for a 21-13 edge after two.

The Bulldogs spent the better part of the first couple of minutes in the third in their end, and while not giving up much on net it did eventually lead to a penalty. The Bulldogs would kill it off, and not give up much. At the conclusion of the penalty, Christian Simeone would exit the box and skate in on a breakaway, but Roden made the save as Simeone took a hard hack over the arm. It looked like the Bulldogs might have earned a power play soon afterwards, when Michael Sacco was tackled but no arms went up. The Dogs would again be penalized later in the period, but once again came up with a solid kill. The Dogs would earn a power play later in the period on an equally soft call, but they couldn't cash in. Another big Bulldog penalty kill with just over three minutes to play would protect the 1-1 score. They would have a good chance to win it with less than 3 seconds to play on an odd-man rush that saw Christian Simeone cross the attacking zone before putting a shot on net that was gloved down by Roden. Third period shots were 13-7 Nanaimo for a 60 minute total of 34-20 Clippers. 

The first overtime didn't see much in the way of wide-open chances, but each goalie being solid when tested. Double overtime would see the Dogs having a good look on a partial breakaway by Ryan Steele, but he couldn't get a good chance away. The Dogs would threaten on the rush later in double OT, but Roden came up with a good save on Cayden Kraus. The puck would turn back the other way, and the Dogs couldn't dig in enough on the backcheck as Cal Babych gained the attacking zone before dishing off to David Melaragni to skated in alone and deked home the winner low glove side on Hawthorne at 1:47 of double OT for the game winner. 

Overtime shots were 9-3 Clippers, for a game total of 43-23 Clippers. John Hawthorne picked up 2nd star honours with the loss while Austin Roden picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 4 on the power play while the Clippers went 0 for 5. 

The Dogs are next in action tomorrow night when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters. 



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