Briercrest falls in hard fought first home game of second semester

Posted: January 9, 2015

Football is said to be a game of inches; hockey can sometimes be a game of millimetres. The Briercrest Clippers found this out on the opening weekend of the second semester, dropping a 5-2 decision that was closer than the score suggests.

First period action was tight, as both teams did their best to limit the other's chances. Briercrest's shakeup of their lines yielded flashes of crisp passing and strong forechecking, but it was a shot from in close by Keyano's Liam Van Buren that opened the scoring. The Huskies have exactly twice the amount of penalty minutes as the Clippers this far into the season, and they showed some of that lack of discipline midway through the period- earning a whopping 34 minutes from one post-whistle scrum. The home team applied the pressure, but weren't able to cash in and the visitors took the lead into the first break.

Briercrest charged out of the gate in the second. A great pass by Taylor Epp sprung Stephen Langford, who struck low blocker side to tie the game up. The momentum was short-lived however, as Keyano regained the lead on a subsequent power play. The Huskies' Scott Sandercock then did his best Hulk smash attempt after a whistle, apparently unappreciative of a clean hit by Erik Robitaille. The Clippers responded with steady, disciplined hockey. The line of Dirk de Waal, Jacob Baribeau, and Jordaan Braun created some good pressure, and Epp rang a hard shot off the crossbar. Briercrest would later kill off a five on three, thanks partly to a critical shot block by Langford, to stay within one, before hard work by Josh Grimm and Brennan Gasmo would create two more powerplay opportunities. Unfortunately it was Keyano that managed to add a late goal, and they led 3-1 going into the second intermission.

In the third, Briercrest once again started very strong, executing with precision on an early powerplay to cut the lead to 3-2. It was Josh Anderson tipping home a Robitaille point shot to ignite Barkman Arena. An unfortunate defensive zone bounce for the Clippers put the puck on the stick of the guests, who restored the two goal lead. Brett Lafond had a great solo rush coming out of the penalty box, and Epp showed some great deking in the slot before hitting the post, but the Huskies would withstand the late pressure and add an insurance goal to cap the game at 5-2. 

The Clippers showed some real positives despite the loss. Newcomers Josh Peters and Matthew Melo, as well as returning player Dan Stollery acquitted themselves well in their season debuts, and the team played tough, disciplined hockey against a group known for their pugnacity. They'll get the chance to split the weekend series tomorrow afternoon at 2:00pm. 

If you can’t make it to the Barkman Arena watch online at

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