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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dogs force Game 7 with third straight win, 4-3 over Clippers

An energetic start to the game was quickly dampened when Mitch Makin was sent to the box just 30 seconds into the game on a boarding call. The Clippers would have two or three good chances, but Billy Christopoulos was sharp to keep it 0-0, most notably on a deflection in front where he kicked out his right toe to keep it out as the Dogs killed it off. The Dogs would score first for the second straight game just two minutes later when Mitch Makin took a Troy Dobbs outlet pass up the right wing and drove wide before throwing a cross-ice pass to the net front that went off Eric Therrien and in to make it 1-0. Guillaume Decelles would be the only Clipper to argue a possible kick in, but the Officials would conference and stick the original call of good goal, at 3:53 of the first. The Dogs would have their chances to build the lead with the momentum gained after the goal, but the Clippers kept it within a goal before drawing another penalty that they would connect on when Nick Gushue fed Brett Roulston on the left half boards where he walked into the circle and banked one in on a screened Christopoulos. Cole Maier picked up the only assist on the play, but that probably should have went to Devin Brosseau, at 11:29 of the first. The Bulldogs would take their second lead of the game late in the period on their second power play goal of the series as Drew Weich put a one-timer on goal from the left point that was tipped home through the legs of Decelles by Marcus Russell in front to make it 2-1 at 17:40 of the first, with the Clippers leading the shots 16-15 after one.

The second period would start with the Clippers having an obvious jump to their step, pushing to get back to even. It wouldn't take long for them to find the equalizer as just two minutes into the period Devin Brosseau roofed a rebound off a Nick Gushue slap shot short-side high past the blocker of Christopoulos to make it 2-2. Jacob Hanlon also picked up an assist on the play at 2:07 of the second. The Dogs would answer just three minutes later on the power play when Brett Stewart set up Mitch Makin in the right circle where he put a shot wide short-side, only to have the end board bounce come out front for Eric Therrien who banked it in off Guillaume Decelles to make it 3-2 at 4:56 of the second. A huge hit just following the goal saw Garrett Halls step up at the Clippers line and flatten Kale Bennett, but seconds later Anthony Rinaldi skated in on a breakaway where Christopoulos made the save to protect the lead. The Dogs would build the lead later in the period on the rush when a Ryan Coghlan shot missed the net short-side and rimmed up the right wing for Josh Adkins. He would put a perfect head-man pass up the middle for Logan Savard, who walked over the Clippers line and ripped a high shot off the blocker shoulder of Decelles. He couldn't control the rebound, and Josh Adkins would beat his check to the net and drill it home into the open side to make it 4-2, with Drew Weich also drawing an assist at 13:53 of the second. An ugly incident two minutes later would see Corey Renwick drive the Bulldogs net and run Billy Christopoulos, drawing a five minute major for the hit. Thankfully, Christopoulos wouldn't be injured. Despite several good looks on the power play, the Dogs couldn't build their lead as it stayed 4-2 after two, with the Dogs out shooting the Clippers 10-7 in the period for a 25-23 advantage after 40 minutes. 

The Clippers would come out to start the third and much like the second got right on the board as Jake Jackson took a rink wide pass and walked over the Bulldogs blue line up the left wing where he snapped one top corner, far-side off the bar and in over the glove of Christopoulos. The only assist went to Ryan Coghlan at 1:44 of the third to make it 4-3. The Clippers would draw a power play shortly afterwards, but the Dogs would quickly even it up when Josh Adkins made a great read to break up a pass and race away on an odd man rush, only to be tackled. The Clippers would earn another power play six minutes into the frame, but the Bulldog defenders came up with a solid kill. The score stayed that way until the late stages of the third with the Dogs protecting the lead and Christopoulos coming up big when needed. The fans in the Dog Pound would be up in arms with three minutes to go when Eric Therrien broke up a play at the line and attempted to race away on an on-man rush, only to get dumped by the Clipper defender. There would be no call, but a 10 minute misconduct afterwards to Therrien. A minute later, Dylan Haugen came up with a solid defensive play to cover at the Offensive blue line. He would then win a race to a loose puck in the Dogs end and get tripped up, drawing a penalty. The Dogs would kill the clock until just under a minute to play, and then draw another penalty - or so they thought, when Yanni Kaldis clipped Josh Adkins on a neutral zone faceoff. The back Referee would call the penalty, and Kaldis would be sent to the box. After a long discussion, Kaldis was freed from the sin bin and the penalty was "uncalled" as the Clippers would pull their goalie to make it a 5 on 5 situation. They would press, but the Dogs would protect the lead and kill the clock for the 4-3 final.

Final shots favoured the Clippers 36-31 with Billy Christopoulos picking up the win while Guillaume Decelles took the loss. The Dogs went 2 for 6 on the power play while the Clippers went 1 for 5.

With the win, the Dogs force a Game 7 tomorrow night in Nanaimo.


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