Clippers defeat the Powell River Kings 5-3

#18 Mike Murtagh clears the puck from in front of #35 Tom Kiesewetter while killing a penalty.

By Malcom Cooke

The Nanaimo Clippers improved to 3-1-1 with a 5-3 win over the Powell River Kings on Friday. Goaltender Tom Kiesewetter stopped 30 out of 33 shots faced for his 2nd win of the young season. Noah Alvarez, Connor Haynes, and Emmett McHardy each scored their 1st goals of the season in the win. Joel Plante and Cole Lonsdale each had 2 point nights, scoring a goal and an assist each. The Clippers only allowed 1 power-play goal despite being short-handed 5 times throughout the game and even added a short-handed goal. The Clippers outshot the Kings 37-33 in the win. Powell River finished up the 1st period with a 2-1 lead, but the Clippers would come back to win at the Frank Crane Arena.

Kings goalie Owen Crudale made a sprawling bicycle kick save during a mad scramble in front of the Kings net less than a minute into the 1st period. Kiesewetter had his own high-danger save, stopping a wide-open 2 on 1 cross-crease pass with a poke check. The Clippers swarmed the Kings in the early portion of the 1st period but it would be Powell River who opened the scoring. Anthony Yu, the Kings leading scorer, got the evening started with a short-side shot that slipped under the arm of Kiesewetter. The first power play of the game went to the Clippers midway through the 1st period. The Kings killed off the initial penalty but immediately took another after Kings forward Christian Maro stapled Mike Murtagh into the boards from behind. On their 2nd power play, Noah Alvarez scored his first BCHL regular-season goal to tie the game at 1-1. Powell River regained the lead late in the 1st, squeaking a shot by Kiesewetter for a 2-1 advantage. Prior to the 1st intermission horn, Isa Parekh and Brenden Giles slashed at each other, resulting in 4 on 4 hockey to start the 2nd. The Clippers trailed on the scoreboard but led 14-13 in the shot totals at the end of 1 period of play.

Kings goalie Owen Crudale withstood the early onslaught of Clippers' shots in the first half of the 2nd period. Kiesewetter made timely saves for Nanaimo as the Kings tried to extend their lead. A pair of penalties to the Clippers created a 5 on 3 power-play for Powell River. Fortunately, the Clippers were able to kill off both minor penalties with little danger to stay within 1 goal. Joel Plante scored on a shot from behind the Kings goal line that bounced off the back of Crudale before coming to a rest in the Powell River goal, tying the game at 2-2. The Kings were able to retake the lead 2 minutes later on the power play. Connor Hayes scored a short-handed goal to tie the game at 3-3, his first BCHL goal, with a snipe that beat the glove of Crudale. Nanaimo dominated in the 2nd, despite spending a significant chunk of it shorthanded. The Clippers outshot the Kings 19-13 in the 2nd.

Less than 2 minutes into the 3rd period Cole Lonsdale scored his 4th goal of the season to give the Clippers a 4-3 lead. The Clippers were handed a golden opportunity to extend their lead after Anthony Yu took a penalty out of anger, giving the Clippers a man advantage. The penalty would expire and the score remained 4-3. The Kings attempted to mount a comeback by shovelling as many shots to the net as they could, but all were turned aside by Kiesewetter. Samuel Boisvert fanned on a wide-open attempt at the side of the net that would have put the Clippers up by 2 goals late in the 3rd. Powell River pulled their goalie with more than 2 minutes left in the game. Emmett McHardy would take advantage of the open net; firing a shot from the blue line to seal the Clippers' win. Nanaimo skated away with a 5-3 victory after falling behind 2-1.
Joel Plante and Cole Lonsdale’s 2-point nights earned them 1st and 2nd star, respectively. Powell River’s Anthony Yu earned 3rd star. Andrew Brown took home FortisBC Energy Player of the Game for his efforts along the board and blocking shots at key times.

The Clippers are on the road for the next 4 games, including a tilt with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday. The next chance to catch the Clippers in Nanaimo will be on Friday, October 20th when they take on the Bulldogs. Tickets can be purchased at the Frank Crane box office on game day, or at

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