Nanaimo Clippers and Cowichan Valley Capitals plead their cases to officials on a disallowed goal in the second period of Saturday’s B.C. Hockey League game at Frank Crane Arena. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Clippers keep their cool and win big in home opener

Nanaimo Clippers handle Cowichan Valley Capitals 6-2 in emotional game

A storied rivalry between the Nanaimo Clippers and the Cowichan Valley Capitals had a little extra oomph on opening night, and it was the Clippers who used that energy to win a hockey game.

The Clippers defeated the Capitals 6-2 on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena to start the 2018-19 B.C. Hockey League season.

Aside from being the season and home opener, there was also the storyline of four former Clippers players and an ex-coach on the visiting bench.

“There was a lot of emotion in that game,” said Bob Foglietta, Clippers assistant coach. “First of the year, and there was a lot of hidden meanings in the game … Anytime you’ve been traded you want to stick it to the other team, so I thought our guys handled it well.”

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The Clippers made the Capitals pay for penalties – Nanaimo had 10 power plays, compared to five for the opposition, and struck for three goals on the PP.

“We’ve spent a lot of time on our power play and we knew playing this team that they were going to take some penalties against us trying to keep up to our speed,” Foglietta said.

Ethan Scardina, Clippers forward and a former Capital, said the extra storylines surrounding the game were motivation for his team.

“It was for sure an inspiration for us,” he said. “A lot of emotions out there and we battled through it and we got the win, so that was really, really good.”

He said it was hard to keep the emotions in check, but the Clippers were able to do that against the Capitals.

“They couldn’t keep it in check,” Scardina said.

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He said the Clippers played a 200-foot game and used puck movement to create scoring opportunities.

“We were getting them in bad situations where they couldn’t really do much and then we buried on our chances,” Scardina said.

Marcus Mitchell and MacKenzie Merriman each scored two goals for the Clippers and Joshua Bourne and Scardina were other scorers. Landon Pavlisin made 19 saves for the win.

“We’re really fired up and we can’t wait to get back on the ice tomorrow and get another win,” Scardina said.

GAME ON … The Clippers host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 2 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Tickets will be available at the door.

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