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Monday, December 31, 2018

Clippers top Bulldogs 6-2

The game had good pace early, with a great chance for Jackson Doucet on a partial breakaway in the opening seconds that saw Jordan Naylor make the save from a sharp angle. The Bulldogs continued to have a slight edge in the early minutes, running up a 5-1 edge in shots, but being unable to open the scoring. The Clippers would soon afterwards make it 1-0 on the rush as Jonathan Stein kept the puck up the right wing and put a shot on goal through traffic that Cole Demers got a good chunk of but not enough of as it just got through him and barely snuck over the line. Hunor Torzok drew the lone assist at 9:14 of the first. Just 90 seconds later it was 2-0 as the Clippers kept the puck in the Dogs zone on several instances before Devon Mussio put a spinning cross-slot pass onto the tape of Kyler Kovich who fired it into the open side. Aiden Hansen Bukata also assisted at 10:45 of the first. The Clippers tacked on another one three minutes later when Kyler Kovich kept the puck in at the left point and threw it at the net where Tyler Williams knocked it down and spun a backhand home inside the far post past the pad of Demers to make it 3-0 at 13:40 of the first, with Marcus Mitchell also drawing an assist. Shots in the period were 13-13

The Bulldogs got on the board just 19 seconds into the period on the power play on a pretty set up that saw Jackson Doucet feed Ryan Miotto in the right corner below the goal line. He put a perfect pass into the hashmarks onto the tape of a wide open Aaron Bohlinger, who one-timed it home past the blocker of Naylor to make it 3-1. The Clippers had a glorious chance seconds later as a rebound went cross-ice off Demers, but he went post to post to get his glove up to rob Thomas Samuelsen with a highlight reel save. The Bulldogs weren't able to build on it though, as the Clippers made it 4-1 four minutes later on a shot on net through traffic that was stopped by Demers, but the rebound bounced cross-ice where Tyler Williams fired it into the open side for his second of the game. Assists went to Kyler Kovich and Marcus Mitchell at 4:35 of the second. John Hawthorne would enter the game in relief off the bench. The Bulldogs didn't show any signs of sagging, as they pushed the pace throughout the period and had several good chances to trim the deficit, but couldn't finish any of them as it stayed 4-1 Clippers after two. Shots in the period were 14-9 Bulldogs, for a 40 minute total in their favour of 27-22.

The Bulldogs earned a power play early in the third, and again made it count with a broken play that saw a Dawson Tritt shot hit traffic at the net and bounce cross ice where Ryan Miotto deflected it home to make it 4-2, with Austin Spiridakis drawing the lone assist at 2:24 of the third, on the power play. The Bulldogs had two great chances seconds later in tight on Naylor, but couldn't get a bounce to make it a one-goal game. They would earn a power play chance a couple minutes later, but looked out of sorts on it before giving up an odd-man rush that saw Hawthorne make a good right toe save and a Bulldog penalty, The Clippers would get the three goal lead back on it as Sammy Steele exited the penalty box and walked to the net down the left side where he snapped it low inside the far post to make it 5-2 at 8:20 of the third, with assists on the play to Aiden Hansen Bukata and Robby Drazner. The Bulldogs again didn't quit, and appeared to make it a 5-3 game as Stephen Castagna was hauled down on a breakaway, resulting in a delayed penalty. Isaac Tonkin-Palmer would roof the loose puck in the crease, with a whistle sounding before the puck went in, but the Referee at the net emphatically signalling goal. After a discussion, the goal was waved off, but a penalty shot was awarded but Castagna couldn't beat Naylor. The Bulldogs earned one more power play with under five to play, but couldn't generate on it. The Clippers added one more late in the game as a final exclamation point as Ethan Scardina was allowed to walk right in tight on Hawthorne where he beat him far-side from the left circle to make it a 6-2 final with assists to Jordan Dawson and Jonathan Naylor at 17:54 of the third. 

Shots in the third were 16-12 Clippers, for a game total of 39-38 Bulldogs. Cole Demers took the loss giving up 4 goals on 18 shots before being relieved by John Hawthorne, while Jonathan Naylor earned the win. The Bulldogs went 2 for 5 on the power play while the Clippers went 1 for 3.

The Bulldogs are next in action Wednesday night in Victoria.


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