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Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The London Knights  and Niagara Ice Dogs continued the series of "no margin for error" with another evenly matched tilt last night at the John Labbat Centre, with the Knights emerging with a narrow 3-2 goal on a goal that was deemed controversial by Ice Dog Coach Marty Williamson who felt that an interference penalty should have been called.   Controversy or not this series has proven that the teams are willing to leap on any scant advantage handed to them by the opposite team and as it turned out the Knights capitalized on the last chance that was given to them by the IceDogs. A soft and highly debatable call on Steven Shipley with less than two minutes left dashed the residual hopes of the IceDogs.   

What must be frustrating for all IceDogs players, coaches and supporters alike is the fact that the IceDogs have had leads in all three games and have failed to hold them.  Game 3 would be particularly frustrating as the IceDogs took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 and quickly gave them up.  They are usually a very defensively responsible team so credit goes to the Knights for burying their chances and turning up the pressure when adversity hits them.   

Make no mistake about it the IceDogs are going to have to come with the mindset that Game 4 is the biggest game of the year for the team.  A couple of IceDog players have struggled to find traction so far in the championship series, not from lack of effort, but more to the diligent work of the Knights.  Ryan Strome, Tom Kuhnackl, Alex Friesen, Steven Shipley and David Pacan are amongst the IceDogs who have yet to light the lamp.  Those players are too good to be held down for long, so expect one, two or all of them to elevate their game tomorrow night. 

Game 4 is Wednesday night at The Jack, game time 7pm.  The Robertson Cup will be in the house again and we are trying to figure out the source of that eerie green glow that hangs over top of the cup.   I think it means that Slytherin are House Champions. Harry Potter fans will get the references, and we all know Harry Potter fans and hockey fans are mutually exclusive.

*snarky author reference* Yes I know that the green light is a TV creation, and I'm just poking fun at our fine counterparts in London. :-) All in good fun, and I've enjoyed the work that Greg Sloane, Rick Doyle and the rest of the crew have provided.


- IceDogs lost versatile and valuable forward Mitchell Theoret in the 1st with an "upper body injury"  That forced the IceDogs to juggle 11 forwards, with the fourth line splitting duties on Theoret's 3rd line spot

-The IceDogs did welcome back hardworking Miles Doan back to the lineup.  The agitating forward played a strong game, showing his usual hustle and enthusiasm

-The Dogs did not open or close the game very well. In the first the shots were 7-1 London coming out the gate and 15-9 in the 3rd.  In fact London has outscored Niagara 3-0 in the 3rd period so far in the series. 

-Tasteless moment of the night goes to the London fan who held the Russian Flag with the sign "Don't Worry Visentin, this time you are only letting down your CITY".  Talk about trying to get a story alive well past its due date that was ill-informed to begin with.  The flag itself was one thing, adding the sign was bit too much

-Austin Watson continues to be the best all-around forward on both teams, particularly in the shot blocking department.   The IceDogs have missed a number of key opportunities due to the diligent forward

-Also, the IceDogs had only 27 shots on goal, but missed the net on a number of key shots

Looking forward, once again, to the province wide audience for Game 4 at the Jack with Ed Burkholder, Al Galloway and myself

Steve Clark - Ice Dogs TV Play by Play

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