‘Unfortunate’ setbacks keep Clippers down

The Nanaimo Clippers weren’t able to halt a winless skid, but the outlook is improving.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League team earned a point on the weekend, tying the Powell River Kings 1-1 on Friday night at Frank Crane Arena before losing 5-4 the next night on the road to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

“Our compete level was real good in both games,” said Bill Bestwick, Clippers coach.

The home game, he said, was a highly entertaining tilt featuring good goaltending on both sides. The drama reached a peak with less than two seconds left in double overtime, when Clippers forward Brayden Jaw was stymied on a penalty shot.

“It was a well played game,” Bestwick said. “We were pretty happy to get out of there with a point and should have had two.”

Sam Labrecque scored Nanaimo’s only goal on the power play midway through the third period and goalie Charles-Andre Pelletier made 24 saves.

The next night, Nanaimo felt good about its chances but were a few steps slower than Alberni to start the game.

“The second and third period, we got better and better,” Bestwick said. “It’s really unfortunate that we came out of there with nothing because we did really battle hard.”

The Clips twice fought back from deficits, with Gerry Fitzgerald, Mike Domsodi, Graeme McCormack and Jaw scoring goals. Pelletier made 32 saves in defeat.

GAME ON … Nanaimo hosts the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday (Oct. 8) at 7:10 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com