Clippers Fall 6-3 to West Kelowna

#35 Chazz Nixon with one of his 26 saves of the game.

By Malcom Cooke

The Nanaimo Clippers fell 6-3 to the visiting West Kelowna Warriors on Friday night at the Frank. Prior to puck drop the Nanaimo Clippers paid homage to all the alumni over the 50+ years that the Clippers have called Nanaimo home. The 2003-04 Nanaimo Clippers Alumni were also honoured pregame with a ceremony that included the Fred Page Cup and 8 former players/coaches from the team. The ceremony was capped off with a speech from 03-04 captain Michael Olson, who paid homage to the memory of the late Raymond Sawata in his speech.

The Warriors' Micheal Salandra opened the scoring less than 5 minutes into the game after the Clippers turned the puck over in the defensive end. Salandra added his 2nd goal of the game a few minutes later, putting the Warriors up 2-0. Then West Kelowna snuck across the blueline to get behind the Clippers' defence but rang a shot off the crossbar. Clipper netminder Chazz Nixon made a sprawling cross-crease save after the media timeout to keep Nanaimo’s deficit to only two goals. Late in the 1st, the Clippers were buzzing around the Warriors net. Joel Plante nearly batted the puck out of midair and into the West Kelowna net. The puck took a bad bounce and trickled harmlessly into the corner.

Chazz Nixon made his second five-alarm save towards the end of the 1st, kicking the pad out to stop a cross-ice one-timer. But, with just over a minute to go in the 3rd period, Sean Keohane shot a puck past Nixon from the point to give the Warriors their 3rd goal of the game. Nanaimo made a late push to score to end the 1st and managed to get a shot off before the end of the period, but no goal. The Warriors outshot the Clippers 10-7 in the 1st.

Tyler Buss nearly got the Clippers on the scoreboard to start the 2nd period. On a breakaway, Buss aimed for the five-hole and had the puck squeak through the Warriors goalie pads before it stopped on the goal line. Samuel Boisvert got the Clippers on the scoreboard in the 2nd period, scoring his 4th goal of the season after taking a pass from Isa Parekh. A dust-up in front of the Warriors' net after a scoring chance sent a player from each team into the sin bin, resulting in 4 on 4 hockey. Neither side was able to score with the extra space on the ice. 15 minutes into the 2nd period, Conner DeTurris cut the West Kelowna lead to 3-2 for his 11th goal of the season. The Warriors answered back a few seconds later to retake a 2 goal lead. Kelowna added to their lead, making it 5-2, with 3 minutes left in the 2nd period. The Clippers outshot the Warriors 10-8 in the 2nd period.

Chazz Nixon stood on his head in the early portion of the 3rd period to keep the Clippers within 3 goals. The Clippers were awarded the game's first power play in the 3rd, but they were unable to cut into the lead with the man advantage. With 6 minutes to play, Gabriel Westling made a fantastic flutter pass to Andrew Brown who attempted to kickstart a comeback, wiring home a one-timer to cut the Warriors' lead to 5-3.  It was Brown's 7th goal of the season. Unfortunately, that would be as close as the Clippers would come. The Warriors added an empty-netter to finalize a 6-3 win over the Clippers.

The three stars of the game were handed out to Kelowna’s Michael Salandra and Felix Caron, while Gabriel Westling took home the third star. FortisBC Energy Player of the Game was awarded to Andrew Brown. Nanaimo will look for a bounce-back at home on Saturday night when they face the Powell River Kings. Tickets can be purchased at the Frank Crane box office on game day, or at

Catch all of the exciting action at a 2023-2024 Nanaimo Clippers game. 
Tickets can be purchased at

Recap presented by