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Students fill arena for first ‘School Day Game’ in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Clippers defeated by Alberni Valley Bulldogs in overtime, 6-5
Alberni Valley Bulldogs goalie Callum Tung makes a save on Nanaimo Clippers opponent Isa Parekh as Bulldogs Braden Brace and Jacob Terpstra get back to defend during overtime of a B.C. Hockey League game Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Frank Crane Arena. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

The B.C. Hockey League fan experience made for a one-of-a-kind field trip for Nanaimo-Ladysmith students.

The Nanaimo Clippers presented the first-ever School Day Game during the daytime on Wednesday, Nov. 1, filling every section of Frank Crane Arena with school bus loads of SD68 public school students.

The students saw a barnburner of a hockey game, with the Clippers eventually falling 6-5 in overtime to the rival Alberni Valley Bulldogs. The Clips took a 5-2 lead early in the third period before the Dogs battled back to force OT and win in sudden death.

Luke Buss, Samuel Boisvert, Gus El-Tahhan, Brett Merner and Joel Plante scored for Nanaimo, Willyam Gendron added three assists and Tom Kiesewetter made 29 saves in defeat.

Robb Hunter, director of business operations for the Clippers, said in a press release that the game represented a “remarkable collaboration” between the Clippers, the school district, and sponsors, making for “an unforgettable experience for the young fans of hockey.”

The VIU Mariners hockey team also partnered with the Clippers, scheduling a 7 p.m. game tonight against the UVic Vikes at Frank Crane Arena to provide high-level hockey for Clippers fans who couldn’t make the 11 a.m. matchup.

GAME ON … The Clippers host the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo Clippers will hit the ice bright and early