Clippers fall 5-1 to the Victoria Grizzlies

#22 Luke Buss, #24 Andrew Brown, #11 Willyam Gendron and #31 Tyler Hodges react to a face-off.

By Malcom Cooke

The Nanaimo Clippers were defeated by the Victoria Grizzlies on Friday night, by a score of 5-1. Luke Buss had the lone Clipper goal scored on the power play. The highlight of Friday’s game was the debut of a new sleek, black jersey. The jersey features an orange N with a Clipper sailing ship marking the split in the N.

The initial stages of the 1st period were fairly uneventful. Each team managed to get a few low-danger shots off. The energy of the game shifted near the midway mark of the 1st after Luke Buss was interfered with behind the Grizzlies net. On the ensuing power play, the Grizzlies held the puck against the boards and ran down the clock. Late in the 1st Joel Plante had a 1 on 1 rush that saw him jar the puck loose from Grizzlies netminder Oliver Auyeung-Ashton and nearly score on the broken play. Time expired in the 1st period without either team managing to score. The Clippers outshot the Grizzlies 8-6 in the period.

Victoria opened the scoring less than a minute into the 2nd period on a 4-on-1. A saucer pass was knocked behind Clipper goalie Tyler Hodges for a 1-0 Grizzlies lead. The Clippers had a chance to answer back after the Grizzlies took their 2nd penalty of the game. The Clippers used the extra space to create a shooting lane for Luke Buss to tip in the tying goal as the power play was winding down. The Grizzlies answered back 1 minute later to retake the lead, this time 2-1. After regaining the lead Victoria locked down defensively. With only 8 seconds left in the 2nd period, the Grizzlies added to their lead, firing a shot past Hodges to take a 3-1 lead.

The Clippers started the 3rd period with a sense of urgency, peppering the Grizzlies net early. Unfortunately, they could not solve Grizzlies goalie Oliver Auyeung-Ashton. Nanaimo continued to apply pressure through the 3rd period. Midway through the 3rd Willyam Gendron was hit with an embellishment penalty, putting the Clippers on the penalty kill for the first time. Victoria scored on the power play to take a 4-1 lead. The Clippers would have a power-play opportunity shortly after giving up a PP goal. Unfortunately, it would be the Grizzlies who scored once again, taking a 5-1 lead late in the game. To add insult to injury, Joel Plante got called for high-sticking while trying to make a move around a Victoria defender; a double minor. The Clippers managed to kill off the double minor. Just prior to the end of the game, Willyam Gendron got hit with a 10-minute misconduct and unsportsmanlike penalty. The Grizzlies outshot the Clippers 35-22 in the game.

Victoria swept the 3 stars with Nathan King, Luc Pelletier, and Oliver Auyeung-Ashton earning 1st to 3rd stars. Joel Plante was named FortisBC Energy Player of the Game for his comeback efforts when the game was 3-1.

The Clippers will look to bounce back on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. when they face the Coquitlam Express. Tickets can be purchased at the Frank Crane box office on game day, or at

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