The Bulldogs opened up their week Wednesday night in Nanaimo for their second game this season against the Clippers.
The game didn?t start well as the Dogs would go to the penalty box in the first minute when Eric Fraser was sent off. They would go a good job to kill it off, but they couldn?t clear the front of the net as the penalty expired as Colton Cyr banged in a rebound from the top of the crease for a 1-0 Clipper lead 2:48 in. Another penalty kill kept the score 1-0, before the Dogs would battle back to tie it at 1-1 on a 5 on 3 power play opportunity when Josh Pineiro one-timed a shot inside the post from the right point on a pass from Evan Witt. Eliot Raibl was also in on the play at the 10:44 mark. The Dogs weren?t able to sustain the momentum gained from the goal, as they went to the penalty box again and the Clippers made them pay when Steve Mason made it 2-1 from Eric Filiou 13:30 in. Colin Rundell made a great first save on the backdoor one-time attempt, but he inadvertently kicked the rebound in. The Clippers went up 3-1 when Brad McConnell intercepted a cross ice pass in neutral ice and walked in alone down the left wing where he put a shot high and short side on Rundell with 2:56 left in the first. The Dogs battled back to make it 3-2 in the second when Chris Moulson picked up a rebound behind the goal and from his stomach managed to get the puck back out front where it hit Warren Muir and bounced in. Moulson somehow wouldn?t get an assist on the play as they instead went to Josh Pineiro and Eliot Raibl at the 4:54 mark, on the power play. The Clippers again took a two goal lead on the power play when Russell Goodman walked out from behind the net and put a backhand through the legs of Rundell at 7:30 from Eric Filiou and Connor Krukowski for a 4-2 score. The Clippers then made it 5-2 later in the frame when Kurtis Bartliff walked down the left wing and put short side wrist shot past Rundell from Brad McConnell and Eric Filiou 11:04 into the second. After the goal Rundell would be relieved by Matthew Wong. The Dogs made it a two goal game again with just 1:09 left in the second when Warren Muir sent Chris Moulson in on a breakaway where he put a beautiful backhand move on Evan Smith to make it a 5-3 game. Josh Pineiro would also draw an assist on the play. The Dogs would then go to the power play right after the goal when Eric Filiou was ejected for a check from behind. The power play would carry over into the third period with over a minute on the man advantage as the Dogs attempted to stage a comeback. They wouldn?t be able to find the net again though to make a game of it as they mustered just four shots on goal in the final period. The Clippers added one more for the 6-3 final when Brad McConnell one-timed a cross crease pass past Matthew Wong for his second of the game 11:43 into the third from Brandon Fagerheim and Kurtis Bartliff.
Final shots favoured Nanaimo 26-18 with Colin Rundell giving up the first five goals and getting tagged with the loss. Evan Smith picked up the win in the Clipper net. The Dogs were 2 for 6 on the power play while the Clippers were 2 for 6.
It wasn?t a 60 minute effort for the Dogs, and it wasn?t a solid effort from top to bottom down the roster. And those are just a few factors in this game ending up a loss.
Friday night the Dogs hosted the Clippers, but it was a much different team than the team that faced Nanaimo on Wednesday. Gone from the Dogs roster via trade or assignment to Junior B were Shae Naka, Ben Payne, Matt Frydrysek and Justin Castagna. New additions to the roster were Ryan Corbiell and Mark Morikawa while Johny Rogic was also making his home debut as a Bulldog after playing Wednesday in Nanaimo. The Dogs came out flying in this one, at one point leading the shots on goal 11-0. Unfortunately there weren?t able to find the net though. The Clippers would strike first with 2:33 left in the period with a delayed penalty coming to the Dogs when a Kyle Weber point shot was stopped by Matthew Wong, but the rebound was a problem as Brad McConnell found it first and put it home for a 1-0 Clipper lead. The lead would be 2-0 less than two minutes later when an awful turnover right up the middle ended up on the tape of Russell Goodman in the slot, where he put a low shot past Wong for a 2-0 lead with just 53 seconds left in the first period. The Bulldogs battled back in the second to make it a 2-1 game when the power play connected when James Kerr banged home his own rebound on a set up by Evan Witt and Josh Pineiro at the 10:19 mark of the second. The Dogs weren?t able to sustain the momentum as just moments later a bench minor penalty and game misconduct was given to Taylor Orser for interference from the bench. Initially the Dogs dodged a huge bullet early in the power play when a quick whistle saw a Clipper goal called back. The Clippers were undaunted though as just seconds later they got the 3-1 goal on a cross-crease backdoor pass converted by Joey Perry from Eric Filiou and Kurtis Bartliff with 6:12 left in the second. The Dogs would begin the third period with a crucial power play opportunity, and they would get the job done to make it 3-2 as Evan Witt and James Kerr worked a give and go to perfection as Witt blasted a one-timer from the right circle far side top shelf on Evan Smith. Josh Pineiro was also in on the scoring play 43 seconds into the third period. Much like when they made it 2-1, the Dogs again didn?t build on the momentum as another crucial turnover right in the slot saw Russell Goodman steal the puck and send a cross ice pass to Carson Schell who got a one timer by Wong to make it a 4-2 game just 44 seconds later. The Dogs would have ample opportunities to get back into it, including a 5 on 3 power play late in the third, but they couldn?t find the net again as the Clippers held on for the 4-2 final.
The Bulldogs outshot the Clippers 30-26, with Matthew Wong and Evan Smith being the goalies of record. The Dogs were 2 for 8 on the power play while the Clippers were 1 for 7.
The Dogs played a great game in this one but they had two huge mistakes that ended up in the back of their net and they weren?t able to generate enough offense to recover from it.
Saturday the Dogs ended their week by visiting the Grizzlies in Victoria. This was a bad one from the beginning, with Victoria getting on the board early with Myles MacRae scoring on the breakaway on a nice feed from Lee Baldwin 2:31 into the game. The Grizzlies then made it 2-0 at the 10:34 mark with Jonathan Milhouse scoring from Dustin Mowrey and Todd Gebert. Moments later it was 3-0 with the Grizzlies striking on a 4 on 3 power play opportunity when Jordan Heywood w