First pre-season game a success

The Clippers always want to be on the winning end, so Friday’s first exhibition game was a success.

Nanaimo defeated the Cowichan Valley Capitals 5-2 in Duncan to begin the B.C. Hockey League pre-season.

“Although it’s just exhibition, it’s always meaningful for the kids that are participating,” said Bill Bestwick, Clippers coach. “It’s a good reward.”

The Shipmen dressed only three veterans; the Caps, even fewer.

Gerry Fitzgerald scored the first Clippers goal of the pre-season in the first period, then Myles Fitzgerald, Mason Malkowich, Leo Fitzgerald and Dustin Beairsto added second-period markers.

“The kids that we’re really contemplating played with energy and discipline and that’s always important,” Bestwick said. “You get to see them cope with the speed.”

Loic Boivin got the start in goal and the win and Luke Stripp manned the crease in the second half of the game. Each netminder allowed one power-play goal.

After the game Friday, the Clippers released nine players from their roster to head into Week 2 of training camp with around 30 healthy bodies. There were no surprises among the cuts.

The Clippers will skate twice on Monday, then twice more on Tuesday in advance of a pre-season game Wednesday (Sept. 1) against the Capitals at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

“We’re going to ice a pretty solid roster for Wednesday night, there’s no doubt about that,” Bestwick said. “We’re probably going to have 16 guys in [the lineup] that will probably play in our uniform.”

GAME ON … The Clips and Caps face off Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. at the NIC. Admission to pre-season games is $10 for adults, seniors and students and $5 for children.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com