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

Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization, a non-profit, seeks to raise $8,000 for a play structure to help children remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization asking for help fundraising for play structure

Physical activities have been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, says non-profit

Nadine Mourao and Catherine Andersen starred in ‘Mimi and Me’ by Kitty Dubin in last year’s Gabriola Players One-Act Play Festival. This year’s festival is taking place online due to COVID-19. (Photo courtesy Bill Pope)
Gabriola one-act play festival to be held online due to COVID-19

Submissions sought for plays that adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam at a press conference last year. (Canadian Press photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Better federal vaccine planning badly needed

Why hasn’t Parliament done more to protect seniors and care homes, asks letter writer

Police in Nanaimo hope to find the owner of a Giant Reign mountain bike that was seized after a man was spotted riding it without a helmet on the wrong side of the road on Christmas Eve. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP suspicious to find expensive bike covered in layer of duct tape

Police looking for owner of Giant Reign mountain bike that they believe was stolen

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent and CEO, has seen his contract renewed for four years, the district announced Wednesday. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)
Nanaimo school district renews superintendent’s contract for four years

‘Singing superintendent’ Scott Saywell under contract through 2024-25 school year

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker causes pain and damage at downtown Nanaimo gym

VIDEO: Suspect breaks fire alarm, slams door on business owner’s foot after attempting to defraud her

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read