Hockey season is over for Nanaimo Clippers

Nanaimo loses to Powell River by 6-4 score, drops series four games to two

The Nanaimo Clippers’ roller-coaster season has come to an end.

The Clippers lost 6-4 to the Powell River Kings on Saturday on the road and have been eliminated, dropping their first-round series four games to two.

Game 6 was an eventful one as the Clippers led 4-2 at one point and 4-3 going into the third, but allowed a tying goal early and then the Kings’ Carter Turnbull, for a second-straight game, scored a late go-ahead goal. Powell River added an empty-netter to end Nanaimo’s season.

Jordan Wharrie, Parker Colley, Cal Babych and Josh Bourne scored for the Clippers and goalie Taz Burman made 30 saves in defeat.

For the Kings, Turnbull and Mitchell Williams scored two goals each and Ben Berard and Gavin Rauser were other scorers. Matteo Paler-Chow made 30 saves for the victory in the crease.

The Clippers were missing team captain Jamie Collins due to injury in Game 6 and played the whole series without their second-leading scorer, Jake Harris.

The 2017-18 season saw the team sold to new owners Wes and Penny Mussio, and there was also a mid-season coaching change when coach and general manager Mike Vandekamp and assistant coach Dustin Donaghy were fired and replaced by new coach and GM Darren Naylor and assistant coach Bob Foglietta. On the ice, the Clippers started the new year on a win streak, fell into a losing streak and then ended the regular season on a 10-game win streak going into the post-season.

Naylor could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

The Kings advance to play the Victoria Grizzlies in the Island Division final. The Grizz came back from a three-games-to-none series deficit and a won a Game 7 against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Sunday in Victoria.

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