Clippers’ power play success at home leads to top-line scoring

By contributor Reid Eccles

The Nanaimo Clippers have the best power play in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) when playing in front of a home crowd. With a success rate of 29.82 per cent at Frank Crane Arena, the Clippers boast the most effective home power play in the league.

The Clippers played seven home games in October and put on a special team’s clinic. They won six of seven, outscored opponents 21 to 12, and potted 12 power play goals—at least one per game.

The power play has become the driving force of the Clippers’ offense because of what it offers: open space for the Rempal-line to move the puck.

Every man advantage presents an opportunity for the top three Clipper forwards, Sheldon Rempal, Matt Hoover, and Devin Brosseau to cycle the puck with Yanni Kaldis on the point, who is second in defenseman scoring, and his 17 power play assists are the most in the BCHL. Once Rempal and Brosseau have room to skate, their chemistry becomes apparent. Their passing plays are on point, and with the addition of Hoover’s offensive prowess this year, the Rempal-line is even deadlier.

The Clippers’ league-leading 30 goals with a man advantage make up 38.5 per cent of the team’s total 79 goals. Rempal, Hoover, and Brosseau have tallied 21 of the Clippers’ 30 power play goals, which makes sense since the Clippers’ top line has scored over 50 per cent of the team’s total goals of the season.

Veteran sniper Rempal’s 19 goals make up 24.1 per cent of team scoring, centreman Hoover’s 15 goals make up 19 per cent, and Clippers captain Brosseau’s 11 goals make up 13.9 per cent. In total, the Clippers’ top three have combined for 57 per cent of the Clippers’ goals so far this season.

Zach Court, Chris Dodero, and Corey Renwick are tied at four goals apiece, making them the next highest scorers on the Clippers team.

Away games have been a different story. The Clippers are coming off a two-point road trip to start off November. They won one of five on the road and had next to no power play success, going five for 38 with a man advantage, a mere success rate of only 13.1 per cent.

While the Clippers are still ranked the third best power play with an overall success rate of 23.62 per cent, the road trip surely left their locker room sour.

Now the Clippers are back at the Frank Crane Arena for four games with memories of last month’s success. They’ll be looking to capitalize on every opposing infraction, and the Rempal-line will be looking to add to their point totals both on and off the power play.

There are two more chances to catch Clippers home games this month: Wednesday, November 18, and the following Friday, November 20.

Tickets for Clippers games can be purchased at the box office at Frank Crane Arena starting an hour before puck drop. Tickets are only $10 for VIU students, and a free beer is included with admission.

Health app reviews

Not all of us can afford a Fitbit, the seemingly be-all end-all of sports tracking gear. However, almost everybody has a cellphone with a variety of sports app options. Hopefully this will help narrow down the selection for a better you.


Sport_SportsApp1With a Google Play and iTunes rating of 4.5 stars, this app looks promising. The opening page, with its green logo and white background starts you off profile-building with the general questions of age, sex, height, weight, fitness level, etc., with the added bonus of asking your current estimated body fat. This seems innovative for a health app, as it even provides picture comparisons to help, and follows up with a picture comparison of desired body fat percentage.

After building a customized workout plan based on your estimated fitness level, this app leaves the hard work in your hands—work hard and get the result, or slack off and wait longer for results. You can also get motivated by inviting your friends to join, or by posting your achievements on Facebook. The top-left corner shows you a “workout streak” with your recommended weekly activity level.

The app has short, intense pre-set workouts, but you can also make your own by picking exercises that target specific areas you want to work on.

Unlike most sports apps, 8fit does not combine nutritional help and meal plans with its workout incentives unless you purchase that option.8 fit


S health

Sports_SportsApp2I was impressed when I first opened up this app with its nice tree-studded green layout. With a Google Play rating of 3.5 stars, I didn’t really know what to expect. After the usual profile-building, the app lets you run free (literally) by encouraging you to be active with a set time of daily activity. With a pedometre and suggested activity-level tracker on the home screen, this app has a variety of tracking “add-ons,” like water consumption, heart-rate monitoring, caffeine consumption, sleep, and a variety of sports. You can also set additional goals for yourself as you go not only to be more active, but to eat healthier or feel more rested. This app tends to focus on running as its main source of activity tracking, and even has built in programs like the “Baby Steps to 5k” and “First at 10k” to encourage the user. This app also displays monthly stats.s health

LiveStrong’s MyPlate

Sports_SportsApp3This app focuses more on nutrition than the two previous apps, though it does have an option to input activities. Available for both Android and Apple products, the app links your profile to your own account on the LiveStrong website and even sends you newsletters with suggestions and interesting articles on health. You start off with a suggested calorie intake per day, and getting more active gives more leeway with calories. You can also track your weight and water consumption. On top of having a “food diary” by the end of the day, a chart on the home screen displays estimated protein, fat, and carb levels found in the meals inputted. It also displays charts of weight trends— either on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis—as well as a calendar which shows you the days in green where the calorie goal has been met, and in red where it was exceeded.MyPlate

Connecting Countries with Education.

On November 6, a band of drums and chimes filled VIU’s cafeteria with an energy that brought students and staff on the floor to dance and clap along. Along the entryway of the cafeteria, crowds of people browsed the booths that showcased information, cultural snacks, and pride from international students of many different cultures. World VIU Days is a time of celebrating, and this year there was an especially important announcement.

refugee“In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, VIU faculty, staff, and students have come together to initiate the creation of the VIU International Refugee Support Fund,” announced Provost and Vice-President Academic Dr. David Witty, on stage on behalf of Dr. Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor; and students, faculty, and staff who have formed a committee to respond to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

Each year, VIU’s local World University Service of Canada (WUSC) committee sponsors two refugee students. This year, with an initial contribution of $10k from the VIU Faculty Association, and with all donations matched at 50 cents on the dollar by VIU, this initiative will fund and support a third student from Syria through the WUSC committee and its Student Refugee Program. In addition, it will also fund scholarships for university-aged children of sponsored refugee families arriving in Nanaimo in the coming months.

VIU will also be joining and supporting the Scholars at Risk program, which assists academics who must flee violence or persecution in their home country, and provides them with opportunities to study and teach at universities abroad.

A student from China showcases her pride in the fashion show at World VIU Days.

A student from Saudi Arabia showcases his pride in the fashion show at World VIU Days.









“As we celebrate World VIU Days this week, VIU faculty, staff, and students are joining people across Canada and around the world in a commitment to do everything we can to assist hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled civil war in their country,” Witty said. “Among refugees are young people with great promise who have left behind not only a beloved home, but the opportunity to pursue their dreams through academic studies and the rewarding careers and lives that follow. We think of those young people, along with our colleagues at universities whose work as scholars and professors has been cut short as they flee a dangerous and volatile situation and the threat of persecution.”

WUSC co-chair Jessyca Idi, an international student from Brazil, spoke about the importance of supporting refugee students. “Where I come from, quality education is still a luxury for many,” she said. “The pursuit of this is what led me to leave my country. The passion I’m pursuing in seeing my own education and the inspiration I feel really helps me emphasize with others that have no choice but to wait.”

Idi urged the crowd to get involved with WUSC by participating in events, volunteering, or showing support. If students cannot make the club meetings, they can participate in the event planning, volunteering at booths, raising awareness, doing media work, promotion, and sharing ideas, she said.

“One must not underestimate their own potential to change the world we live in and to make valuable contribution to society,” said Idi. “At WUSC, we say, ‘one volunteer at a time,’ but on the volunteer’s perspectives it should be ‘one step at time.’ Small actions for us are great efforts for those in need of help.”

In addition to financial support, the club must provide social support by welcoming the sponsored students and ensuring they successfully transition to Canadian life by helping them with things such as budgeting, finding tutors, and socializing.

Jessyca Idi says VIU must continue to show the world it cares about refugees around the world.

“There is no way we can calculate the value of a human life, and yet statistics make us so indifferent to the individuals, families, and communities that are suffering,” she said. “Maybe when an entire country is lost, we will take notice. But by that time, generations have been lost and lives cannot be replaced. By sponsoring a Syrian refugee, we are saving a life. We are making a new one possible. It is important to have students’ involvement because it is not just about funding—it is about raising awareness. WUSC Local Committees across Canada are all run by students, so if there is no involvement of students (if they don’t know about WUSC), the Local Committee and the work we do is not sustainable.”

VIU has students from more than 80 countries studying at its campuses, and international students comprise 17 per cent of the enrollment
. Following the World VIU Days wrap up, some of these students put on a high energy fashion show displaying clothing from their cultures with pride.

The first fundraising event for the International Refugee Support Fund is December 7; more information will be available shortly.

WUSC meets weekly Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. in bldg. 255, rm. 135. Email and “like” VIU WUSC Local Committee (2014-2015) on Facebook for more information or to get involved.



No more procrastiknitting

Knitting: it’s not just your grandma ’ s thing anymore.

You’d be amazed at how many students regularly practice this art form, including yours truly. Knitting holds a world of possibility and allows the creative juices to flow. Once you get the basic knitting stitch down, and get good at counting your stitches (my first scarf resulted in a multi-coloured disaster with holes, dropped stitches, and an asymmetrical line), it becomes second nature. Now, I can watch Netflix and knit freely without even looking at what I’m doing. I find the repetitive motions are great for stress relief, like with colouring—as university students, we all know how essential decompressing is.

By mid-November, it’s almost time to start thinking about the holidays and start gift shopping. Though knitting a scarf requires hours of work, there are alternative options that make quick and easy presents for friends, or something nice and cozy for yourself.

Ever heard of arm knitting? How about finger knitting? A rising trend that takes an hour or less to learn, even less to complete a project (try 20 minutes), and needs no materials except your own handy limbs, it’s one of my all-time favourites. I learned most of my knitting from YouTube tutorials, and this one was no exception. What started as an evening with nothing to do turned into a downright problem (or hobby—whichever term you prefer).


Warm and cozy in a finished arm-knit infinity scarf

Arm knitting puts all preconceptions associated with knitting and turns it on its head. You don’t even need to know how to properly knit, since you aren’t using the typical paraphernalia—all you really need is the yarn. Using thick yarn (usually a Level 6 Super Bulky yarn) creates a fuller, chunkier effect for scarves, and can be found for under $10 per ball at any craft store. For a local alternative, Mad About Ewe on Wesley St. downtown also has a wide selection of yarns. Personally, I found that two balls of chunky yarn at 106 yards (97 m) each gave me enough leftover not to stress too much about what length I wanted my scarf to be. Though the colour selection and chunkiness of the yarn is ultimately up to personal preference, I would recommend Loops & Threads Cozy Wool (90 yards/82 m) or Lion Brand Yarns’ Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (106 yards/97 m) as great starting points.

After binding off, or finishing, the scarf, all you need to do to make your creation an infinity scarf is to take your tail end (last bit of yarn) and thread both ends through each other—kind of like sewing the ends together. Voila—there you have an easy Christmas present, or something to keep you nice and warm as the temperatures dip low this winter.

Eat seasonal: November

It’s hard to eat in-season when all you want is a nice pineapple or some raspberries—even more so when it comes to eating locally. Here is a short list of veggies in-season this month. Why not have a look at VIU’s very own Farmers’ Market every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the upper cafeteria?

You never know what could lead to a culinary adventure.


  • Apples
    Brussel Sprouts
    Swiss Chard
    Collard Greens

Mental Health Matters: Stigma

mental health

This is the latest in a contributor column by Zoe Lauckner. Check back next issue for the latest in mental health issues.

According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 20 per cent of the country’s population live with a mental illness (that’s close to seven million people, or one in five). As we can see by these numbers, we all have some kind of connection to mental health issues, whether through personal lived experience, or in knowing someone who struggles. In 2009, VIU reported their student population was close to 20 thousand people (which has undoubtedly grown since then); meaning that almost four thousand of the student body potentially lives with a mental illness. Considering that university is a very common time for mental health issues to arise due to the level of stress and financial instability that accompanies post-secondary schooling, it’s quite possible that the prevalence is even higher than four thousand.

With these numbers in mind, I invite you to reflect on your own judgments or thoughts about those whom society labels as the “mentally ill.” Our media often portrays folks with these struggles as violent and unpredictable, and many people tend to adopt these beliefs without educating themselves on the topic and forming their own beliefs. These negative attitudes, over-generalizations, and prejudices that arise from misinformation and misrepresentation create the stigmas that can haunt people who live with mental health issues. Stigmas aren’t held only at individual or group levels, but exist strongly within society in general and create systems of oppression that can be hard to decimate.

In November 2014, a man by the name of Phuong Na Du was found in downtown Vancouver, distraught, talking to himself, and walking around with a piece of lumber in his hands. Du passed a number of people at a nearby bus stop without incident before the Vancouver Police came on scene. At least three officers were present, asking Du to put down the two-by-four and comply with their requests. When Du did not comply, the Vancouver Police Department opened fire on him. Eyewitnesses said the whole thing happened within a minute. Du, who was known by his (very supportive) family to have struggled with schizophrenia, was later pronounced dead at the age of 51.

While this situation is very sad and all too common, it highlights the need for more mental health-specific training for all first responders, and, frankly, for the public in general. It also shows how quick we are to make judgments about those we perceive as “mentally ill”—as being violent, unstable, and a threat to our society. Stigmas create blame, shame, discrimination, and barriers to people who are perceived to have mental illness, and can become internalized beliefs about the self that are damaging to self-efficacy and esteem. Stigmas make accessing services, housing, and employment difficult, and sometimes impossible. Stigmas are living, breathing forms of oppression that many of us engage in unknowingly.


Discrimination, stigma, prejudice—whatever you want to call it—can take many forms. From subtle turns of phrases or jokes, to blatant discrimination, prejudice can be an intentional or unconscious cognitive process. As our media supports the creation of prejudices in a number of ways, it can be hard to be aware of times when you have adopted a negative belief with no foundation or factual basis. A common reason that people adopt negative views of those who struggle with mental health issues is that the very topic of mental illness makes them uncomfortable. It is easier to separate us from them than to admit to ourselves that we too are susceptible to these issues.

Now that the context is set, next column I am going to be challenging you, dear reader, to get more involved in mental health literacy. There are a number of ways that you can get involved in a process of decreasing stigma, including education sessions, community forums, volunteer work, and more. We’ll turn the page on this sad chapter of stigmatization and begin to talk about ways that we can work together to promote proper education and movement towards a compassionate perspective.

Stay sane(ish), VIU! Until next time…

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

Clippers finish strong, defeat Rivermen

By contributor Reid Eccles

The Clippers were back in Frank Crane Arena on November 14 to face the Langley Rivermen.

Into the second period, Rivermen forward Justin Fregona broke the scoreless tie when his wrist shot through traffic, beat Clipper goaltender Jakob Walter’s low glove side. The Rivermen capitalized again two minutes later when Walter’s stick
caught in the mesh of his net, allowing Max Kaufman to tuck in an easy wraparound.

Seven minutes later, the Clippers’ power play got them on the board when Matt Hoover potted a Devin Brosseau rebound. Sheldon Rempal picked up the second assist.

Rempal assisted another goal late in the period by dancing around three Rivermen to enter the offensive zone. The puck ended up on Hoover’s stick and he found defenseman Yanni Kaldis with all kinds of time in front of Rivermen goaltender Bo Didur. Kaldis slid the puck five-hole on Didur and tied the score at two to end the second period.

The Clippers took their first lead of the game six minutes into the third when Will Reilly sprung Nolan Aibel and Zach Court for a two-on-one opportunity. Aibel faked a pass to Court before burying the puck himself off of the far side post. Then, with four
minutes left in the game, Hoover ripped a one-timer above Didur’s shoulder for his second power play goal of the game and the 4-2 Clippers lead.

The Rivermen scored again to bring them within one, but a staunch Clippers defense held off the attack, even after Didur had been pulled for an extra attacker. The Clippers held on to win 4-3.