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Wednesday, February 06, 2019

*UPDATED with HIGHLIGHTS* Bulldogs win second straight, 5-2 over Clippers

The Bulldogs got off to their best start of the season, taking a 2-0 lead before the game was two minutes old. They opened the scoring just 19 seconds in, when a dump in took an odd bounce off the Zamboni gate before it was found by Stephen Castagna. He would send it back to the left point for Marcus Walter, who put a quick shot on goal that was deflected on goal by Mitchel Deelstra. Jordan Naylor would make the initial save, but Deelstra batted the rebound home to make it 1-0. It was 2-0 before the next shift ended, as John Hawthorne stopped a dump in and reversed it to the far corner for Ryan Novecosky. He would put it up the right wing of his own zone for Ryan Miotto, who made a rink wide pass to Jackson Doucet, who flew up the left wing and into the Nanaimo zone and back of the net where he tucked a wrap around inside the far post. The Bulldogs had several chances to build their lead in the following minutes, and eventually went up 3-0 just short of the midway point of the period as Jackson Doucet stepped up to intercept a pass at the red line with a poke check. Keaton Mastrodonato would find it, and flip it around a defender to create a 2 on 1 where he walked in and put a high hard one on net that was stopped by Naylor, but the rebound went cross-ice where it was one-timed home by Ryan Miotto at 9:52 of the first. Landon Pavlisin would enter the game in relief, and was immediately tested as he made a right toe save on a Keaton Mastrodonato breakaway. The Clippers responded with a good shift in the Bulldog zone a few minutes later, and John Hawthorne made a solid toe save on a cross-crease pass on the rush to protect the lead. The Bulldogs drew a power play late in the period and threatened on it, but couldn't pad their lead before the buzzer. They did draw a second penalty, putting them on a 5 on 3 power play for 47 seconds to begin period two. Shots in the first were 15-6 Bulldogs.

The two-man advantage didn't generate anything on net, with the Clippers defending well but the Bulldogs also perhaps lacking urgency. The score stayed 3-0 until just over six minutes into the period when the Clippers struck just 19 seconds into a power play opportunity as Tyler Williams set up Josh Bourne on the goal line to the right of the Bulldog net, where he put a pass to the top of the crease where it was one-timed through the legs of Hawthorne by Marcus Mitchell at 6:16 of the second. The Bulldogs almost got burned by the Zamboni gate seconds later, as a dump in didn't end up back of the net but instead to the slot where it was thrown on net. Hawthorne would make the first save, and get some help from a defender on a rink-wide rebound that looked to be headed into the open side before it was blocked. The Bulldogs pushed back and restored their lead on a power play of their own, as Ryan Miotto made a pass off the right wing wall to the top of the point for Aaron Bohlinger, who one-timed it on goal where it was deflected in by Dawson Tritt from the top of the crease to make it 4-1 at 15:08 of the second. The Bulldogs ran around the Clippers zone for extended periods, but couldn't build their lead before the period ended. Shots in the frame were 9-8 Bulldogs for a 24-14 advantage after 40 minutes.

Time flew by early in the third period, with the Bulldogs doing a good job of defending their zone and getting pucks deep to force the Clippers to earn all the ice. The Bulldogs drew a power play short of the midway point of the period that they made good on, as a second effort by Dawson Tritt deflected a pass off a Nanaimo stick where it was skated onto by Keaton Mastrodonato to keep it in the Nanaimo zone. He would fly up the left side with the defence parting for him as he faked to the middle, drove to the outside and then cut to the middle untouched where he cut across the crease on his forehand to tuck it by Pavlisin to make it 5-1 at 8:43 of the third. The Bulldogs continue to control the bulk of the play and not give up much into the late minutes of regulation. The Clippers would earn a power play, and again connect on it with Marcus Mitchell deflecting a Robby Drazner pass through the legs of Hawthorne to make it 5-2 at 15:32 of the third to complete the scoring.

Third period shots were again 9-8 Bulldogs, for a game total of 33-22 Bulldogs, with John Hawthorne earning the win while Jordan Naylor took the loss before being relieved by Landon Pavlisin. The Bulldogs went 2 for 4 on the power play while the Clippers went 2 for 2.

These teams are both in action on Friday when they meet at the Dog Pound.



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