The first weekend of November was a weird one for the Nanaimo Clippers. Friday, October 31 the team lost 3-1 to the Powell River Kings. The next night the two teams played again. This time, Powell River was victorious by a 3-0 score. Those games marked the first time since the opening weekend of the season that the Clippers had lost back-to-back games. Those two games against Powell River are also the only two games this season the Clippers have scored less than three goals.
Since that weekend in Powell River, the Clippers have gotten their game on track winning all three games the team has played.
First, the Clippers picked up a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Friday, November 7. The Clippers trailed 3-1 with nine minutes left to play in the third period, but got goals from Ryan Forbes, Brett Roulston, and Jake Jackson to send the game into overtime tied 4-4. In overtime, Clippers captain Brendan Taylor scored his second goal of the game to give Nanaimo the victory.
The Clippers needed overtime again the next night, picking up a 3-2 victory over the visiting Penticton Vees. The game was tied 0-0 heading into the third period before each team struck twice in the final period. Jake Jackson was the hero in overtime for the Clippers- as he split two Penticton defensemen before slipping a shot under the arm of Vees goaltender Hunter Miska to give the Clippers the victory. The win was a big one for Nanaimo, as Penticton came into the game as the top-ranked JR A hockey team in Canada. The loss was Penticton’s first overtime loss of the season, and only Penticton’s third total loss in their first 20 games.
Nanaimo was back in action against Alberni Valley Friday, November 14. This time, Nanaimo didn’t need overtime as the team picked up a convincing 5-2 win. The game was tied 2-2 with three minutes left in the second period, but two power play goals by Nanaimo late in the second gave the Clippers a 4-2 lead heading into the third period. Sheldon Rhemple added his team-leading 17th goal of the season to seal the victory.
The Clippers are currently in first place in the five-team Island Division. Nanaimo has 30 points on the season, five more than Alberni Valley and Powell River, who are tied for second place. The Clippers’ 15-6 record is second best in the BCHL, behind Penticton.
The Clippers’ next home games are Saturday, November 22, against the Trail Smoke Eaters, and Friday, November 28 against the Victoria Grizzlies. Student tickets are available at Frank Crane Arena an hour before game time and are only $10 for students. Tickets are also available online at www.nanaimoclippers.com.