Matt Irwin addresses fans at Frank Crane Arena upon being added to the Nanaimo Clippers Wall of Honour on Wednesday night. Some of the people on hand for the ceremony were colour commentator Daryl Major, second from left, Clippers owner Wes Mussio and former Clippers coach and general manager Bill Bestwick. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Matt Irwin addresses fans at Frank Crane Arena upon being added to the Nanaimo Clippers Wall of Honour on Wednesday night. Some of the people on hand for the ceremony were colour commentator Daryl Major, second from left, Clippers owner Wes Mussio and former Clippers coach and general manager Bill Bestwick. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Clippers win on Matt Irwin night

NHL defenceman first player added to BCHL club’s wall of honour

The Nanaimo Clippers were motivated to win on a special night, and managed to come through in the end.

The Clippers edged the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in a 5-4 shootout win in BCHL action Wednesday at Frank Crane Arena.

Before the game, the team unveiled its new Nanaimo Clippers Wall of Honour and added its inaugural honouree, Matt Irwin. The Nashville Predators defenceman is in his eighth NHL season after playing for the Clippers for three seasons, helping the team to a BCHL championship in 2006-07, and serving as captain in 2007-08.

Irwin, who is from Brentwood Bay, thanked fans for the “unwavering support” they showed throughout his time in Nanaimo.

“Your continued support and support throughout the years has simply been amazing and is why Nanaimo is such a special place to play junior hockey,” he said.

He thanked former Clippers teammates, naming Brandon Laidlaw, Tyler Mazzei and Mike Garman, and said former coach Bill Bestwick was the coach who influenced him the most in his hockey career.

“To all the hockey players playing and in attendance tonight, if I’ve got one thing to say, believe in yourself, chase your dream, work hard, have fun and don’t take a single thing for granted,” Irwin said. “You’re doing what you love and you will cherish these memories and friendships for the rest of your life.”

Clippers owner Wes Mussio said after he purchased the hockey team he saw an opportunity to try to better recognize some of the alumni, hence the wall of honour.

“Matt Irwin is obviously the best choice for the inaugural position … he’s a great guy, local talent, we love him, so that’s why we chose him…” Mussio said. “We plan to do this for other players that have moved on and have shown an outstanding commitment to the community.”

story continues below

On the ice, the Clippers made it exciting Wednesday night, building a 4-1 lead through two periods and then needing not only overtime, but a lengthy shootout to determine the outcome.

MacKenzie Merriman, Tim Washe, Tyler Williams and Sean Donaldson scored in regulation and Kyler Kovich had the shootout winner. Goalie Jordan Naylor made 28 saves in regulation and eight more in the shootout.

GAME ON … The Clippers visit the Victoria Grizzlies tonight, Nov. 15, then host the Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rebates through Clean B.C.’s Better Homes New Construction program are available, says the City of Nanaimo. (Vancouver Island University photo)
Energy-efficient home builds in Nanaimo eligible for up to $15K in rebates

All building permits issued on, or after, April 1, 2020 eligible, says City of Nanaimo

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Heidi Sinclair, executive director of Nanaimo Community Kitchens, left, accepts a $13,500 donation from 100-plus Women Who Care Mid Island, represented by Nahanni Ackroyd and Shannon Gorgichuk. (Photo submitted)
Caring women in Nanaimo give generously to community kitchen society

100-plus Women Who Care Mid Island donate $13,500 to Nanaimo Community Kitchens Society

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: Another COVID-19 case found as part of NRGH outbreak

Four patients tested positive for the virus in NRGH’s high-intensity rehab unit

Police cordoned off the block of Fifth Avenue from Burde Street to Bute Street in front of the Phoenix House sobering centre in the early-morning hours of Sunday, April 4, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Port Alberni stabbing suspect arrested in Nanaimo

Man was also in possession of fentanyl: RCMP

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Most Read