#22 Luke Buss celebrates the first of his two goals of the game.
By Malcom Cooke
The Nanaimo Clippers defeated the Coquitlam Express 6-4 in a Sunday afternoon matinee matchup. The win was a nice bounce-back performance from Friday night’s loss. With the win the Clippers now sit at 12-9-2 The Clippers were led by Luke Buss’ 4-point game, including 2 goals. Conner DeTurris and Isa Parekh also had multi-point games in the win. Goaltender Tyler Hodges made 26 saves en route to his 10th win of the season.
The Clippers came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, opening the scoring less than 2 minutes into the game. Luke Buss took a cross-ice pass from Andrew Brown and directed the puck over the shoulder of Express goalie Adam Manji. 4 minutes later the Clippers added to their lead. This time Buss made a cross crease pass to Conner DeTurris for a 2-0 lead. A dust-up in the Clippers' corner resulted in coincidental roughing penalties. With the extra space on the ice, Willyam Gendron danced in front of the Express net before scoring his 10th goal of the season. After scoring 3 quick goals, the Express would pull Manji and insert Eric Young into the net. Brett Merner was called for a hooking penalty, much to the fans' chagrin, just after the Clippers scored. On the power play, the Express scored to cut into the Clippers' lead. Merner was given a 10-minute misconduct after the goal for voicing his opinion on the earlier penalty. Play settled down after 4 goals in the early stages of the 1st period. The Clippers would head to their 2nd penalty kill of the game late in the 1st after Luke Buss got tied up with an Express defenceman. Nanaimo would get their first power play before time expired in the 1st period. The Clippers headed into the 1st intermission with a 3-1 lead and a 14-10 shot advantage.
Adam Manji came back in at goalie for the Express to start the 2nd period. The Clippers were awarded their 2nd power-play chance early in the 2nd frame but were unable to score. The Express cut into the lead, making the score 3-2 for the Clippers. Gus El-Tahhan got tangled up with Tanner Attew in the corner, resulting in a 2-minute power play for Coquitlam. El-Tahhan was also given a 10-minute misconduct penalty. As time expired on the penalty, Cole Lonsdale, who was serving El-Tahhan’s 2-minute penalty, sprung from the box on a breakaway where he scored his 11th goal of the season. Late in the 2nd, the Clippers would be hit with another penalty, although the penalty-kill was short-lived as the Express took a penalty of their own on the ensuing faceoff. Going into the 2nd intermission the Clippers held a 4-2 lead and a 24-17 shot advantage.
The Express came out firing in the 3rd period, notching 6 shots before the Clippers had 1. Despite this, the Clippers kept the Express off the board early. Coquitlam cut the lead to 4-3 on a sharp angle shot near the midway mark of the 3rd. Luke Buss scored his 2nd goal of the game on a tic-tac-toe passing play with Mike Murtagh to re-establish the Clippers with a 5-3 lead. Coquitlam responded shortly after, cutting the Clipper lead to 5-4. A series of penalties for the Express stopped their comeback attempt. Despite being down a skater, the Express pulled their goalie to try and salvage the game. Cole Lonsdale got sprung on a breakaway with the net empty and got hauled down by a Coquitlam defender, which resulted in an automatic goal for the Clippers. After some shenanigans, the Clippers skated to a 6-4 win. The Express overtook the Clippers in shots by the end of the game, 30-28.
The three stars of the game were awarded to Luke Buss, Jackson Krill, and Willyam Gendron, respectively. Cole Lonsdale won FortisBC Energy Player of the Game for his performance.
The Clippers will play again on December 8th against the Powell River Kings. Tickets can be purchased at the Frank Crane box office on game day, or at tickets.nanaimoclippers.com.
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Tickets can be purchased at tickets.nanaimoclippers.com.