Nanaimo, BC – The Nanaimo Clippers went back and forth with the Cowichan Capitals for a full sixty minutes, before ultimately falling short 6-5 in overtime.
Capitals forward Luke Haymes opened the scoring halfway through the first period, putting a rebound past Clippers goalie Jed Baliotti who started in place of the injured Cooper Black. Three minutes later, Clippers scoring leader, Sean Donaldson chased his own rebound to pot his 26th goal of the season on a rare short-handed 3 on 1. Baliotti kept the game tied late in the first with a stellar cross crease save. Both teams were deadlocked 1-1 after the first period.
Less than two minutes into the second, Keighan Gerrie scored in his first game back from injury. A home rink bounce on a pass from Jérémie Payant left Gerrie with plenty of time and space to deke Capitals goaltender McCoy Bidewell for a 2-1 lead. The Capitals tied it up minutes later on one of Shane LaVelle’s two goals in the game. Ten seconds later, Payant returned the favour to regain the Clippers lead. The Capitals evened the score with less than five minutes to go in the second period, making the score 3-3. Baliotti made two five-alarm saves late in the frame to keep the game even going into the third period.
After a scoreless first eight minutes in the third, Tristan Fraser made a cross-crease pass that deflected off an errant stick and past Bidewell to take a 4-3 lead. One minute later, Austin Spiridakis finished off a tic-tac-toe play to score his 11th goal of the season, putting the Clippers up 5-3. The Capitals answered back quickly on a sharp angle shot from LaVelle making it 5-4. Pulling the goalie with a minute and a half to play, Brett Fudger capitalized with the extra player to tie the game with 20 seconds remaining.
One minute into the 3 on 3 overtime, James Bohn scored for the Capitals to finish off the comeback and give the Clippers their first overtime loss of the season.
Keighan Gerrie took home the third star with a 2 point performance. Brody Waters brought the intensity, being named the FortisBC Energy Player of the Game.
The Clippers look to bounce back in a 2 p.m., Sunday matinee against the 16-14 Victoria Clippers. Tickets can be purchased online @ tickets.nanaimoclippers.com or at the Frank Crane Arena Box Office on game day.