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Friday, February 08, 2019

Bulldogs fall 6-5 to Clippers in a wild one

There was no scoring in the opening seconds of this contest, and no 2-0 lead a minute in, however it was a goal that led to the first stoppage of the game for the second contest in a row as Tyler Williams put a perfect pass from behind the Bulldogs net to the hashmarks for Sammy Steele who one-timed it home short-side past the blocker of Hawthorne to make it 1-0 at 2:52 of the first. The Bulldogs answered quickly, making it 1-1 on a shot simply thrown at the goal by Jackson Doucet that hit Keaton Mastrodonato in the back and bounced across the crease where it went in off a Ryan Miotto net drive at 4:21 of the first. The teams would each have their opportunities and a power play chance, but it stayed tied until the late stages of the period when Ethan McLaughlin put a hard pass from behind the Bulldog net up the left wing for Michael Hodge. He would put a pass laterally out of the zone that caromed off a Clipper pant leg and up the middle where Dawson Tritt simply just seemed to want it more, as he skated on it and beat his man to the net where he snuck a backhand home short-side on Jordan Naylor at 13:59 of the first to make it 2-1. Shots in the first were 11-8 Bulldogs.

The Clippers got the equalizer just 27 seconds into period two, when a Bulldog defender stood up at the Nanaimo line and got caught leading to a long 2 on 1 rush that saw Tyler Williams keep the puck up the left wing deep into the Bulldog zone before he threw a perfectly placed and paced pass onto the tape of Marcus Mitchell who deflected it past Hawthorne to make it 2-2. It was 3-2 seconds later, as Hawthorne left his net and played a dump in to the near corner where it was intercepted by Ethan Scardina, who threw it to the crease where it went off a defender and in at 1:03 of the second. The Bulldogs showed no signs of letting the turn of events effect them, as they continued to push the pace and spend extended periods in the Nanaimo zone, but despite plenty of pucks on net they couldn't get a bounce to tie the game, and also couldn't connect on a couple power play opportunities. Late in the period, the Clippers put a quick two on the board with a series of deflections - the first on a faceoff win by MacKenzie Merriman back to the right point for Aiden Hansen-Bukata, who threw it low on goal where Ethan Scardina tipped it home five hole on Hawthorne to make it 4-2 at 15:25 of the period. Just 30 seconds later it was 5-2 when Nick Marsh put a long range shot on net from the right point that appeared to glance off a Bulldog and in high far side over the shoulder of Hawthorne at 15:55 with assists to Thomas Samuelsen and Hansen-Bukata. Once again, the Bulldogs responded well, pushing back on the next shift and not appearing deflated. They would finally get rewarded for their efforts late in the frame, as Tanner Pochipinski set up Keaton Mastrodonato below the goal line where he put a perfect pass out front for Josh Zary, who one-timed his first career goal long-side past the glove of Naylor to make it 5-3 at 18:00 of the second. Shots in the period were 14-8 Bulldogs for a two period total in their favour of 25-16.

The Bulldogs pushed hard to make it a one-goal game again just over five minutes into the third, as Grayson Valente took a Michael Hodge pass in the Dogs zone and rushed end to end into the deep slot of the Nanaimo zone where he put a shot wide blocker side on Naylor.  It would bounce right back through his feet to the top of the crease where Michael Hodge ripped it high glove side to make it 5-4 at 5:42 of the third, with Dawson Tritt also drawing an assist. The Clippers would restore the two goal lead four minutes later, in controversial fashion to say the least, as a Bulldog no where near the puck was hit twice, the second time into John Hawthorne resulting in Hawthorne being unable to challenge the shooter and attempt to make the save as he ended up on the seat of his pants allowing Nick Marsh to put a slap shot into the open net, unassisted for his second of the game and of his career at 9:32 of the third. The Referee at the net signalled goal, while the Referee at centre appeared to not be able to detect any of the contact. A long discussion at the scorekeepers booth saw the Referee point at centre, but the Public Address announcer at the same time state there was no goal, to further add to the confusion before it was again confirmed as a good goal. The Bulldogs answered right back on the next shift, on a determined effort in the zone by Evan Googins and Michael Hodge and especially Dawson Tritt, who one a series of battles before driving back of the net to stuff a wrap around on the goal line through Naylor where Grayson Valente jammed it in to make it 6-5 at 10:18 of the third. The Bulldogs were awarded a power play on the next shift, but unfortunately they couldn't capitalize on it. The Clippers would make the lead stand to the buzzer, doing a good job of not giving the Bulldogs much in the final two minutes with the Bulldog net empty for the extra attacker.

Third period shots were 9-6 Clippers for a game total of 31-25 Bulldogs, with Jordan Naylor earning the win while John Hawthorne took the loss. The Bulldogs went 0 for 4 on the power play, while the Clippers went 0 for 1.

The Bulldogs are next in action Sunday afternoon when they host the West Kelowna Warriors.



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