Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Mike Kennedy checks Alberni Valley Bulldogs opponent Matthew Grouchy in front of Clippers goalie Jordan Naylor during Saturday’s BCHL playoff game at Frank Crane Arena. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Clippers winning big to start BCHL playoffs

Clippers beat Alberni Valley Bulldogs by 6-3 scores in both Game 1 and Game 2

The Nanaimo Clippers doubled up the opposition for a second-straight night to take a two-games-to-none lead in their first-round playoff series.

The Clippers handled the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 6-3 on Saturday night at Frank Crane Arena in a déjà-vu Game 2, one night after winning 6-3 at Frank Crane in Game 1.

“It was a good game,” said Darren Naylor, Clippers coach. “They worked hard, they buried some chances on us, there were a couple lucky goals.”

The Bulldogs led the game by scores of 2-1 and 3-2, but the Clippers possessed the puck most of the second half of the game and won with ease.

“I think we were pretty resilient,” said Devon Mussio, Clippers defenceman. “There was times when we went down, but we ended up coming back and it shows our character in our room right now.”

Mussio and Josh Kagan had two goals each, Josh Bourne had a goal and four assists and Trevor LeDonne was Nanaimo’s other scorer. Jordan Naylor made 30 saves for the win.

For Alberni Valley, Olivier Fizet, Ryan Doolin and Matthew Grouchy scored and Jackson Glassford made 38 stops.

The Clippers coach said winning the first two games of the series is “a start.”

“You’ve got to win your home games, and it doesn’t become a series till you win one on the road, so we’ve got to go in there and we want to win that first one,” Darren Naylor said.

Mussio said the Clippers feel like they can go out and play their game whether it’s at home or on the road, and the series lead helps.

“We’re definitely confident right now,” he said. “We can’t let up. We’ve got to go into their barn and win the next one.”

In Game 1, Ethan Scardina and Bourne each had two goals and an assist for the Clippers and Steven Agriogianis and Tim Washe were other scorers. Jordan Naylor made 25 saves for the win. For the Bulldogs, Jacob Bosse scored twice and Isaac Pascoal also tallied. Glassford made 23 saves.

GAME ON … The Clippers and Bulldogs play the next two games of the series at Port Alberni’s Weyerhaeuser Arena on Tuesday, March 3, and Thursday, March 5. Game 5, if necessary, will be back at Nanaimo’s Frank Crane Arena on Friday, March 6, at 7 p.m.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo Clippers goalie chosen his team’s MVP

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