The Nanaimo Clippers scored their Teddy Bear Toss goal early, kept scoring, and finished a remarkable first half of the schedule with another win.
The Clippers (23-4-1) defeated the Cowichan Valley Capitals by a 6-3 final in B.C. Hockey League action on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Frank Crane Arena.
On Teddy Bear Toss night at the Frank, the Clippers tallied less than four minutes into the first period, with Willyam Gendron opening the scoring.
“That felt really good,” he said. “All the fans coming and tossing their teddy bears for the children, for a really good cause, it was great to see all those teddy bears on the ice.”
The plush toys collected were donated to the Salvation Army this year, as the Clippers had held a Great Nanaimo Toy Drive charity night at a home game earlier in the month.
After the brief break in the action, the Clippers kept lighting the lamp. Gendron and Charles Tardif finished with a pair of goals each and Joel Plante and Michael Craig also tallied. Shane Shelest was the winning goalie as shots ended up 42-27 in favour of the home team.
“We were good at cashing in our chances early, got enough of a lead that we could – I wouldn’t say coast, because we had to play hard, they were coming at us – but it was nice to play with an early lead for sure,” said Colin Birkas, Clippers coach.
Gendron said the team executed the game plan from the first period on, putting shots on net, rimming the puck around the boards and maintaining offensive zone time.
It was the final game before a holiday break in the schedule.
“We’re excited to come into Christmas,” Gendron said. “It feels good to finish a great half of the season like that.”
The previous night at Frank Crane Arena, the Clippers earned one out of two points in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Prince George Spruce Kings. Jake Hewitt and Jérémie Payant scored the goals for the Clips and Aidan Campbell tended goal as his team outshot the visitors 28-22.
GAME ON … The Clippers resume play Jan. 30-31 with road games against the Surrey Eagles and the Langley Rivermen.