It's hard to adequately describe the beginning of the game, without addressing the incident that occurred before it - as the game was supposed to begin at 7:22, due to a long list of Nanaimo Clipper Alumni that were to be introduced on-ice before the game. The first former Clipper that stepped on the ice unfortunately had the carpet move underneath him, resulting in a frightening scene that saw him fall backwards on the ice onto his head. He would appear to be unconscious, and remained motionless for a long period of time, as a full crowd and a carnival like atmosphere fell stunningly silent. The Bulldogs weren't even out of their dressing room for the National Anthem, as they were told to anticipate a 7:22 puck drop. The game instead began shortly after 7:00, and just 10 seconds in an out of sorts starting line up saw the puck end up in frontof the Bulldog net, with Luke Pearson down and out. A Clipper would fail to hit the open net, with the goal light even going on. The following few minutes were uneventful, before a scenario I've never seen - or heard of occurring came about, as Scott Mahovlich took a run at Mitchel Deelstra - who was engaged with two other Clippers at the time. He would deliver a leaping, from behind boarding/headshot resulting in Deelstra being cut and leaving the game. Mahovlich would proceed to then drop his gloves and sucker punch Matthew Grouchy several times. He would receive TWO Major Penalties on the play - one for a Blow to the Head, the other for a one-man-fight, putting the Bulldogs to a ten minute power play. Three minutes into it, the Bulldogs were penalized, bringing about two minutes of four-aside play. The Bulldogs would push when they got back on the man advantage, and drew another penalty to go on a 5 on 3 power play where they finally opened the scoring as Josh Zary played it from the bottom of the right circle, to the top of the circle for Tim Gould. He would bump it across the slot where Austin Spiridakis blasted a one-timer short-side through the seven-hole of Jordan Naylor to make it 1-0 at 15:59 of the first. The Clippers would earn a power play late in the period, but couldn't capitalize before the buzzer. Shots in the first were 14-7 Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs killed it off to start the period, but were penalized at it's conclusion. The Clippers would make good on the second opportunity, when Aiden Hansen Bukata put a shot on net that was deflected off the post and in, blocker side by Liam Ryan. Joshua Bourne also drew an assist at 1:28 of the second. The Bulldogs had a great chance to take the lead a few minutes later, but Jordan Naylor made a great save with his right toe on Ryan Doolin on the doorstep. The period became flat in the middle portions of it, but actions picked up late in it as the Clippers took a 2-1 lead on a simple play to the net with a shot and a rebound finding it's way in with Mackenzie Merriman potting a loose puck off a Kyler Kovich and Liam Ryan drawing the assists at 14:16 of the second. The Clippers kept pushing the pace, and scored a pretty goal on the rush to make it 3-1 at Josh Kagan tipped in a Steven Agriogiannis pass, with a secondary assist going to Joshua Bourne at 17:41 of the second. Less than a minute later, the Bulldogs made it 3-2 as Matthew Grouchy won an attacking zone draw back to the right point for Mattias Dal Monte, who put a wrist shot on net that was deflected home short-side by Dawson Tritt at 18:23 of the period. Shots in the second were 15-9 Clippers, for a 40 minute total of 23-22 Bulldogs.
It was a 3-3 game just 2:05 into the third, when Dawson Tritt picked off a Jordan Naylor reversal behind the goal line and stuffed it home on his backhand, unassisted. The Bulldogs earned a power play two minutes later, on another Blow to the Head. They would threaten on it, hitting the post and failing to bury a rebound on an open net as it stayed tied. Into the middle and late stages of the third, the Bulldogs were penalized three straight times. They killed them all off, with a short 5 on 3 included with five minutes to play that was followed up by an even up call on the Clippers to bring about four-aside hockey. The Bulldogs pushed back and had a great chance to take the lead when Dawson Tritt got by a defender to skate in alone, only to have his feet taken out from under him but no penalty was called. The game stayed tied into the dying seconds, when the Clippers got the winner on a shot from the top of the right circle on the rush that was stopped by the right toe of Pearson, but the rebound went right onto the tape of Joshua Bourne who made no mistake hitting the empty net for the game winner and the 4-3 final at 19:49 of the third, with the lone assist to Josh Kagan.
Third period shots were 16-8 Clippers, for a game total in their favour of 38-31 with Luke Pearson and Jordan Naylor being the goalies of record. Each team went 1 for 5 on the power play.
With the loss, the Bulldogs have now lost three in a row. They next see action tomorrow night when they host the Grizzlies.