Nanaimo Clippers players celebrate a third-period goal against the Langley Rivermen in Sunday’s game in the Fraser Valley. (GARY DORLAND photo)

Nanaimo Clippers thankful after three straight wins on road trip

City’s junior A hockey club wins seventh in a row, trades alternate captain

The Nanaimo Clippers took second and third helpings of wins on Thanksgiving weekend.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League team swept its road trip to the mainland this past weekend, winning three straight one-goal games. The Clips started with a 5-4 shootout win against the Prince George Spruce Kings, edged the Merritt Centennials 4-3 the next night, then completed the trip with a 2-1 comeback against the Langley Rivermen in a Sunday matinee.

In the first game, regulation time and overtime couldn’t determine a winner, but Sean Donaldson’s shootout goal won it for his team. Earlier, Kyler Kovich scored twice, Josh Bourne and Scott Mahovlich also tallied and Jordan Naylor made 35 saves as shots were 39-32 for the Sprucies.

The next day, Mike Kennedy scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period and Bourne, Ethan Scardina and Kovich also lit the lamp. Zachary Bennett made 38 saves for the win as shots were 41-30 for the Cents.

In the finale, the Shipmen trailed 1-0 much of the game, but Bourne tied it in the third and then Steven Agriogianis scored with three and a half minutes left to lift his team to victory. Naylor made 35 saves as the Clippers were again outshot, 36-25.

In other team news, the Clippers traded Thomas Samuelsen to the Victoria Grizzlies in exchange for future considerations. The two-way forward was an alternate captain on the Clippers.

General manager Darren Naylor said with Aiden Hansen-Bukata coming off the injured list, the Clippers had one too many 20-year-olds on the roster, necessitating the Samuelsen trade.

“This was one of the hardest moves I have had to make since joining the Clippers’ organization,” the GM said in a press release. “Thomas is an incredible young man with a work ethic like none other.”

GAME ON … The Clippers have another road trip coming up this weekend, Oct. 18-20, visiting the Trail Smoke Eaters, the Penticton Vees and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Next home action isn’t until Oct. 25 when the Grizzlies visit Frank Crane Arena for a 7 p.m. faceoff.

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