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It was a shame how the Dauphin Clippers' journey to a championship in Las Vegas ended.

The team was firing on all cylinders and they were looking to upset a team from Calgary in the semi-finals. Ultimately, it wasn't to be. The game ended up coming down to a skills competition, one that Dauphin came up short in as they lost to Bow Valley, 3-2, in a shootout. The loss sent the Clippers packing as they departed later that day for Dauphin.

The Clippers won three of their four round-robin games and finished with a single tie. Bow Valley; meanwhile, won all four of their round-robin games, dominating teams in the process.

"I think it was pretty cool in the end that the four Canadian teams were the top teams in our division," said Jason Alf. "To push the top team to a shootout in the Final 4, I think that's a pretty big positive for our group. It was an incredibly positive experience for our group and one that they will never forget."

Dauphin then returned home to play Crocus Plains this past Friday in their final regular season game of the year. Ronin Mouck, Jesse Hockridge, and Norman Lacquette scored for Dauphin in the 3-2 win that clinched their 22nd win of the campaign.

Alf says he was very impressed with how much effort the guys put in throughout the season.

"There are still a lot of things to clean up with how we played," said Alf. "With that said, we finished in fourth place and pretty some pretty great hockey throughout the season. I think the guys should be proud of their efforts."

Next up for the Clippers is a new season. They begin their playoffs on Tuesday evening at Credit Union Place against the Killarney Raiders. Both Killarney and Dauphin finished the season with 22 wins; however, the Clippers finished with 46 points while Killarney had 44. 

They met twice in the regular season, with Dauphin coming out on top in a 2-1 victory while they lost 8-3 in their second meeting. The best of three series will see Dauphin starting the series on home ice and if needed, they will host game three as well.

"There's a general animosity between the two clubs, we have had some pretty great meetings against each other over the past couple of years," offered Alf. "We played pretty well down there and struggled here. If we play like we can and stay out of the box, I think we have a very good chance."

Alf said that is the biggest key to success. The Raiders pose a very good offensive attack and if Dauphin isn't able to stay out of the penalty box, the Raiders will have the upper edge in the series. Game one is set for Tuesday at 7:30.