Clippers fall to the Bulldogs

#27 Matt Klemm is upended as he moves to deke out the goaltender.

#16 Brody Waters scores on a rebound from a shot by #2 Michael Craig.

By Malcom Cooke

The Nanaimo Clippers fell 3-1 to the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday night. The loss marked the Clippers 9th of the season. Despite the loss, the Clippers still have a healthy 6-point lead over the second-place Surrey Eagles. The lone goal for the home team was scored by Brody Waters, his 20th on the season. 

Clipper defenceman Grant Babcock started the game with a thunderous hit below the goal line in the offensive zone. The Bulldogs would open scoring five minutes into the game on their first shot. Nanaimo had a chance to answer after being put on power-play shortly after Alberni scored, but Hobie Hedquist robbed a Kai Daniells one-timer attempt with a cross-crease glove save. That would represent the Clippers' only scoring chance of the power play.

Just after the penalty expired, Alberni scored their second goal on their second shot to take a two-goal lead less than 10 mins into the game. Clippers' goaltender Aidan Campbell kicked aside what would have been the third Alberni goal of the first period, keeping the score 2-0 heading into the first intermission. Shots were 12-10 in favour of the Clippers in the first period.

Clippers got another power-play opportunity but could not solve Alberni Valley goalie Hobie Hedquist. The Bulldogs kept the Clippers from generating many scoring chances before frustration boiled over, leading to coincidental minor penalties. With the extra space Clipper forward Brody Waters opened the scoring for the home team, cutting Alberni Valley’s lead to 2-1. From there, momentum seemed to swing in the Clippers' favour as they started getting more high-danger scoring opportunities. The Bulldogs retained momentum with a goal of their own moments later to retake a two-goal lead by a score of 3-1. Shots were once again 12-10 for Nanaimo in the second, for a two-period total of 24-20. 

A Clipper giveaway to start the third nearly resulted in Alberni Valley scoring their fourth goal of the game. Luckily, Brett Merner took a stab at playing goalie and deflected the puck harmlessly into the corner. The Clippers attempted to mount a comeback but could not sustain pressure in the attacking end. Aidan Campbell was pulled in the final minutes of the third in favour of an extra attacker, but the Clippers couldn’t manage to score.

Alberni Valley swept the three stars. Grant Babcock took home FortisBC Energy Player of the Game. The Clippers will look to bounce back on Saturday night as they face the Vernon Vipers. Tickets can be purchased at or the Frank Crane box office on game day.

#36 Aidan Campbell guarding against the action behind the net.
#7 Kai Daniells prevents the Bulldogs' player from getting to the puck.
#7 Kai Daniells with a scoring opportunity.
#35 Aidan Campbell with a save.
#35 Aidan Campbell smothers a loose puck.
#24 Jake Hewitt working hard in front of the Bulldogs' net.
#35 Aidan Campbell makes a glove save.
#2 Michael Craig with a scoring opportunity.

Recap presented by