The Dauphin Clippers hockey team hit the road last night for game two of their semi-final series against the Sandy Bay Badgers. After winning game one at Credit Union Place, the Clippers had the chance to advance to the Westman High School Hockey League's Championship series with a win.
A goal each from Parker Boguski and Brock Allard and some great goaltending from Bode Childs allowed the team to achieve just that. Dauphin nipped Sandy Bay to advance to the league final for a second straight season.
"Especially in game one, we played really well and the right way," said Rick Freese, Head Coach. "Our guys have learned how to play on the road. Our work ethic got us through last night's game."
"These guys really understand that defence is so important and they're starting to defend extremely well," he continued. "They deserve to be where they are and I'm very happy for them here."
Dauphin will now challenge the Killarney/Wawanesa Raiders in the league final. They edged Major Pratt in overtime last night, 5-4. They won the best of three series in three games. Killarney was the only team that had more points in the regular season than Dauphin with their 45 while the Clippers finished with 40.
In their lone meeting against them earlier this season, Killarney beat Dauphin in a shootout, 3-2. That game was way back on November 6.
"Killarney stacks up pretty much like us. They have some firepower upfront and they have some defenders who can put up some points," continued Freese. "It's a shame it's not a best of seven because I think it would go the distance, it should be a really hard-fought series. The guys are ready and they're looking to give it everything they have."
With the provincials starting up this week, the Raiders/Clippers series won't start until next week. Speaking of those provincials, the Clippers will make their way to Winnipeg for the AAA/AAAA Provincial Championships later this week.
Dauphin is joined in a pool with the St. Paul Crusaders and River East Kodiaks. In its last rankings late last month, the MHSAA had St. Paul’s as the third-ranked team in the province while River East was slotted in the fourth position. The other pool features Dakota, Garden City, and the W.C. Miller Aces from Altona.
The top two teams will advance to the semi-final on Saturday after a two-game round-robin on Friday.
"I think if we play as well as we can and our guys keep rolling how they are, I have no doubt that we're going to make the playoff round," concluded Freese. "There's no doubt in my mind that we will if we play as we have been."