The Nanaimo Clippers had a great start and a great finish to win one of the best games of the season.
The Clips defeated the Wenatchee Wild by a 4-3 score in double overtime Friday night at Frank Crane Arena.
Jamie Collins was a double hero as he scored the Teddy Bear Toss goal in the first period, then also scored the game-winning goal with just 13 seconds left in double overtime.
Spencer Hewson had Nanaimo’s other goal and Austin Roden was the winning goalie as shots were 41-27 in favour of the visitors.
The Clippers had a 6-1 edge in shots in the double OT frame, though, and notably, Vincent Millette drew one of the assists on Collins’s game-winner. Millette had suffered a serious facial injury two nights earlier but was back in the lineup Friday with a face cage.
The Teddy Bear Toss came at 7:26 of the first period when Collins was tripped up chasing a breakaway pass and converted a penalty shot.
Bruce Rowland, chairman of the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive which receives the plush toys, said the penalty shot was an exciting way for the Teddy Bear Toss to unfold. He said the support of the Nanaimo Clippers every year means a lot to his group.
“They supply most of our teddy bears or a lot of our teddy bears … We give away around 1,100 teddy bears every year,” he said.
Even now that the Teddy Bear Toss is in the books, he hopes people will continue to support the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive.
“If they can continue to donate, there’s donation boxes all over town,” Rowland said. “Nine to 16 are the age group that we’re always short; we are short again this year.”
That said, the drive is going well, he reported, as he expects it will be able to help out some 1,300 children or more, making it “a very successful year.”
For information about how to support the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, please click here.
GAME ON … The Clippers visit the Victoria Grizzlies on Sunday (Dec. 11) at the Q Centre. The Clippers’ remaining games in 2016 will all be played on the road; next action at Frank Crane Arena isn’t until Jan. 4.