The Bulldogs playoff run ended last night with a 3-1 loss to the Nanaimo Clippers. The ‘Dogs had come back from being 0-3 to the Clippers in round one of the BCHL playoffs to force games five, six and finally seven.
The Clippers started off the game with a power play goal not quite four minutes into the first period by Nicholas Gushue from Brendan Taylor and Anthony Rinaldi but the Bulldog’s evened the score two minutes later with a goal from Josh Adkins from Justin Marreck and Logan Savard.
“In the first period teams are feeling each other, trying to muster up and win, get an advantage,” Bulldogs assistant coach Adam Hayduk said.
After a scoreless second period for both teams, the Clippers’ Nicolas Carrier made it 2-1 with an assist from Cole Maier.
During a ‘Dogs power play mid-way through the third, they pulled goalie Billy Christopolous to give them a two-man advantage. The choice turned sour for the ‘Dogs as Spencer Hewson scored an empty netter with an assist from Jacob Hanlon.
Despite the goal, Hayduk doesn’t regret the decision to pull Chistopolous.
“Absolutely not, we were out by one goal, got a power play. Pull the goalie and you end up with a two man advantage.”
The Clippers out shot the Bulldogs almost two to one, with the Clippers making 40 shots and the ‘Dogs 24.
Hayduk said that Christopolous, who signed to the Air Force Falcons for the 2015/16 season, has been an asset to the ‘Dogs.
“Billy’s been great for us,” he said. “There were many games in the playoffs were we thought he outplayed the Nanaimo goalie.”
With Christopolous having played his last game for the Bulldogs, they’re giving thought to his replacement. With backup goalie Nathan Warren turning 20 next year, they’ll need two new goalies over the next two seasons.
While not the end to the season that either the ‘Dogs or the fans had wanted, Hayduk said he was impressed by the way the team had played with their backs against a wall.
“They played with a lot of heart and passion.”