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First-place Nanaimo Clippers win sixth straight

B.C. Hockey League team has two more home games before Christmas break
Coquitlam Express player Jason Gallucci, left, and Nanaimo Clippers player Luca Grabas race for a puck during B.C. Hockey League action Sunday, Dec. 11, at Frank Crane Arena. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Whatever happens in the final weekend before the break, the Clippers will head into Christmas in first place.

Nanaimo’s junior A hockey club won its fifth and sixth straight games this past weekend, getting past the Alberni Valley Bulldogs by a 5-4 score on Friday in Port Alberni and then derailing the Coquitlam Express 5-3 on Sunday at Frank Crane Arena.

The first game of the weekend was a feisty one, with players dropping the gloves in the second and third periods and competing hard. Nanaimo made a lead stand up, with Willyam Gendron scoring a pair, Lukas Klemm, Jérémie Payant and Brody Waters also tallying, and Aidan Campbell making 37 saves. Shots ended up 41-29 for the home team.

Two days later, the Clippers did what they needed to do to get past an Express team that was playing its third game in three days. Waters, Michael Craig, Payant, Gendron and Kai Daniells scored for Nanaimo and Campbell stopped 33 pucks as his team was outshot 36-31.

The Clippers (22-4) are in first place in the B.C. Hockey League’s Coastal Conference.

GAME ON … The Clippers play the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena, then play the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday, Dec. 17, in another 7 p.m. faceoff at Frank Crane. Saturday is Teddy Bear Toss night, with fans encouraged to bring plush toys to the rink to throw on the ice in support of the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive.

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