Clippers Buoyed by Recent Winning Streak

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The Nanaimo Clippers got off to a rough start this season. The team lost both games they played at the BCHL Showcase on September 20 and 21. The Clippers fell 6-4 to the Prince George Spruce Kings on Saturday before dropping a 7-6 decision against the West Kelowna Warriors on Sunday afternoon.

Nanaimo Clippers forward Sheldon Rhemple attempts to control a pass on a first period power play against Powell River. Rhemple had three goals in Nanaimo’s 8-4 over the Kings

Nanaimo Clippers forward Sheldon
Rhemple attempts to control a pass on
a first period power play against Powell
River. Rhemple had three goals in
Nanaimo’s 8-4 over the Kings

But since the opening weekend hiccup, the Clippers have been on a roll. Nanaimo picked up a dramatic double overtime victory on Saturday, October 10, on the road against the Langley Rivermen. It looked like the game was going to end in a tie, but with 20 seconds left, Sheldon Rhemple shoveled a puck to the net which bounced off a Langley defender and into the net, and gave the Clippers a 3-2 victory.

Langley opened the scoring in the game just 24 seconds into the game as Will Cook completed a beautiful passing play to put the Rivermen up 1-0. Clippers captain Brendan Taylor scored on a power play five minutes later and tied the game at 1-1. But before the midway mark of the second period, Brendan Gulka capitalized on a mistake by the Clippers’ power play and scored a shorthanded goal to give Langley back the lead. Early in the second period, Ryan Forbes scored his second of the season and tied the game at 2-2. The score remained that way until Rhemple’s winner.

A night earlier, the Clippers picked up a 3-1 victory over the winless Surrey Eagles. Rhemple scored the only goal of the first period and gave Nanaimo a 1-0 lead. Yanni Kaldis added a goal midway through the second period and extended Nanaimo’s lead to 2-0. Ben Vikich did get the Eagles on the board near the end of the second period, but that was as close as Surrey could get. San Jose Sharks’ draft pick Jake Jackson added a third period goal for the Clippers.

Nanaimo played their first two home games of the season on September 26 and 27 against Powell River and Victoria. On Friday, the Clippers played their home opener against the Powell River Kings. The Clippers opened the scoring just 4:10 into the game on a goal by Brendan Taylor. Nicolas Carrier  also scored for the Clippers in the first period. But the Kings got goals from Curtis McCarrack and Jerryd Leung. The score was tied 2-2 after the first period.

In the second, the Kings took their only lead of the game on a power play goal by Stephen Hiff at 2:06. Trailing 3-2 midway through the period, the Clippers took over. Sheldon Rhemple and Brett Roulston scored before the end of the second period to give Nanaimo a 4-3 lead after two. Then, early in the third period, Rhemple scored two more goals in 1:05 to complete the hat track and give Nanaimo a 6-2 lead. Both teams added a couple of goals late and the Clippers sent the crowd home happy with an 8-4 win.

The next night, the Clippers took on the Victoria Grizzlies. For the second night in a row, the Clippers opened the scoring. This time it was Devin Brosseau who gave Nanaimo a 1-0 lead at 11:39 of the first period. Just under two minutes later, a goal by Zach Gibson got the Grizzlies on the board and tied the game at 1-1. Midway through the second period, Nanaimo took the lead back. This time it was Ryan Forbes giving the Clippers a 2-1 lead.

Once again, the lead was short lived, as Jay Mackie tied the game for Victoria just 1:15 later. But before the second period ended, Rhemple scored  and gave Nanaimo a 3-2 lead after two periods. Dane Gibson scored for Victoria and tied the game 3-3 early in the third period. This time it was Nanaimo who replied quickly, as Cole Maier scored a power play goal at 9:49 and gave the Clippers a 4-3 lead. From there, the Clippers held on for the victory.

Nanaimo currently sits in first place in the BCHL’s Island Division. The Clippers have eight points on the season, one more than the second place Victoria Grizzlies.

The Clippers’ next home game is on Friday, October 10 against the visiting Cowichan Valley Capitals. Tickets are only $10 for VIU students and include a free beer.

Standings as of publication:

Victoria 7 4 2 0 1 9 1 24 24 0 0.643 W2
Nanaimo 7 4 3 0 0 8 1 31 27 +4 0.571 L1
Powell River 6 2 3 0 1 5 0 25 29 -4 0.417 W2
Alberni Valley 6 2 4 0 0 4 1 22 24 -2 0.333 L2
Cowichan Valley 8 1 7 0 0 2 0 21 35 -14 0.125 L5

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Mariner Men’s Soccer Team Remains Undefeated

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The race for playoff positioning in the PacWest is a feverish one. Five of the league’s six teams are separated by two points right now. The same two-point margin is what separates the second place team from the last place team. The only team that isn’t involved in the battle for playoff positioning is the VIU Mariners. The Mariners’ record of 8-2-0 gives them 26 points on the season, 14 points ahead of second place Kwantlen Eagles, and 16 points ahead of last place Capilano Blues.

The Mariners’ latest victory came on Saturday, October 4, against Quest University. VIU came out strong, erupting with three goals in the first half and led 3-0 at halftime. Quest did get on the board in the second half, but the Mariners’ defense didn’t surrender anything else. When the game’s final whistle blew, the Mariners were victorious by a score of 3-1.

The Mariners took care of business on the road September 27 and 28, picking up wins against Douglas and Kwantlen University. On Saturday against Douglas, it was Blaze Roberts who scored the only goal in a 1-0 Mariner win. Then, the next day, goals by Jordan Degraaf and Victor Blasco gave the Mariners a 2-0 victory. The Mariners’ defense, which allowed no goals on the weekend, has only allowed five goals in 10 games so far this season.

The Mariners play their final home games of the season on October 18 and 19 against Douglas College and Kwantlen University. The game against Douglas starts at 3 pm, and kickoff for the game against Kwantlen is 2 pm.

Standings as of publication:

1 same (1) Vancouver Island University Mariners 11 9 2 0 17 29
2 same (2) Douglas College Royals 11 5 2 4 4 17
3 same (3) Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles 11 4 3 4 -3 15
4 same (4) Quest University Kermodes 11 3 2 6 -5 11
5 same (5) Langara College Falcons 11 3 2 6 -6 11
6 same (6) Capilano University Blues 11 3 1 7 -7 10

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10 Questions with: Bronte Fitzsimmons

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Mariner forward Bronte Fitzsimmons has been a force on the pitch all season. The Victoria native is currently second in the PacWest with five goals in nine games this season. This isn’t the first time Fitzsimmons has had success with the Mariners. In her rookie year in 2010, Fitzsimmons was named a CCAA All-Canadian and a BCCAA First Team All-Star. The Navigator caught up with Bronte to ask her 10 questions that have nothing to do with soccer in the first ever segment of 10 questions with a VIU Mariner.

Nav: What is your least favorite food?

Fitzsimmons: Lasagna.

What is the most interesting thing in or about your room?

Probably the fact that I’m staying at a friend’s house right now. So the most interesting thing about my room is that I pay rent for it, but I’m never in it.

What is the first CD that you ever bought?: 

I think it was Now ‘92 or something like that. The Now CD from when I was born.


Bronte Fitzsimmons keeps the ball away from a Langara defender (from Flickr)

What was your favorite cartoon as a child? 

My favourite cartoon was Clifford the Big Red Dog.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

Learning how to ride my bike without training wheels.

What was your least favorite subject in school?


When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A police officer.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas, because it’s snowboarding season.

What is your favourite song to listen to before a game?

Remember the Name,” Fort Minor.

What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

Even though only Target sells it now, it has to be Count Chocula.

See also:

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Mariner Women Take Over First Place

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The VIU Mariners’ women’s soccer team has been on a roll recently. The team’s huge goal total is proof of their success. Coming into their game against Quest on October 4, the Mariners had already scored more goals this year than the last two years combined.

The game between the Mariners and Quest Kermodes was scoreless until the second half. That’s when the Mariners’ offense erupted. Goals by Ceilidh Glennie, Kim Cardwell, and Quest’s own goal gave the Mariners a 3-0 win over the visiting Quest Kermodes.

The victory over Quest got the Mariners back in the win column. VIU tied their last game against Kwantlen 0-0 on Sunday, September 28.

The day before the Kwantlen game, the Mariners pulled out their biggest win of the season. The Mariners knocked off the nationally ranked Douglas College Royals 5-0. The Mariners put the game out of reach early. First, Bronte Fitzsimmons scored just 10 minutes in and gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Goals by Madeline Dawson, Carli Rey, and Kaylee Dodds gave the Mariners a 4-0 lead at halftime. Kim Cardwell added a goal in the second half and gave VIU a 5-0 lead.

The Mariners currently sit in first place in the PacWest standings, four points ahead of second place Douglas College Royals and five points up on third place Langara. The Mariners also have the highest goals for and against differential in the league. The Mariners have scored 19 more goals than they’ve allowed. No other team has a goal differential higher than five. The Mariners are also riding a six-game unbeaten streak, having not lost a game since September 13.

The Mariners only have two home games left this season: Saturday, October 18 against Douglas College at 1 pm and Sunday, October 19 against the Kwantlen Eagles at noon. The Mariners place their home games at the Beban Park Turf Fields.

Standings as of publication:

1 same (1) Vancouver Island University Mariners 11 8 1 2 21 25
2 same (2) Douglas College Royals 11 7 1 3 3 22
3 same (3) Langara College Falcons 11 5 3 3 2 18
4 same (4) Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles 11 3 5 3 -5 14
5 same (5) Quest University Kermodes 11 1 3 7 -9 6
6 same (6) Capilano University Blues 11 0 5 6 -12 5

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