Clippers lose 6-5 in OT to the Chilliwack Chiefs

#11 Willyam Gendron scored two goals for the Clippers..

#24 Jake Hewitt also scored two goals for the Clippers.

By Malcom Cooke

The Nanaimo Clippers were defeated 6-5 by the Chilliwack Chiefs in a Sunday afternoon matinee. Jake Hewitt and Willyam Gendron each had 2 goals in the losing effort. Tyler Wishart was the other Clipper goalscorer. The Clippers still maintain first place in the Coastal division.

Chilliwack opened the scoring 5 minutes into the afternoon affair. The Clippers answered back shortly after. Jake Hewitt scored his 22nd goal of the season on the first Clipper shot of the game to make it 1-1. The Chiefs scored to make it 2-1 midway through the first period. Jeremie Payant took a series of penalties, including a game misconduct, that resulted in the Clippers having to kill off a 5-minute penalty. The Clippers' penalty-kill unit kept the Chiefs off the scoreboard for the duration of the 5-minute penalty. Upon returning to even strength, Jake Hewitt redirected a Brett Merner slap pass for his second goal of the game to tie the score at 2-2. A net front scuffle resulted in both sides being down a skater to start the second period. The Chiefs outshot the Clippers 18-8 in the first period.

An early penalty to Chilliwack gave Nanaimo a full minute of 4 on 3 action. The Clippers were unable to wrangle the lead back with the extra time and space. The Chiefs retaliated, scoring on their first shot of the second period to take a 3-2 lead. The Clippers had a chance to tie after a Chilliwack holding penalty granted Nanaimo a power play. It was Chilliwack who utilized the extra ice, as they scored shorthanded to take a 4-2 lead. Clipper forward Luca Grabas got sandwiched between two Chiefs defenders who made no attempt to play the puck, as a result, the Clippers had another power-play chance. With only 3 seconds left to play in the second, Tyler Wishart tapped home a rebound to bring the Clippers within a single goal. The Clippers managed to outshoot the Chiefs 13-8 in the second.

Willyam Gendron tied the scoring at 4-4 in the third period after redirecting a Brett Merner shot. Chilliwack took the lead once again, just moments after Gendron scored to tie. Chiefs forward Brady Milburn scored his second goal of the game to give the road team a 5-4 lead. Gendron added another goal to tie the game once more, this time at 5-5. Gendron was sprung on a breakaway by Charles Tardif and roofed a shot past Chiefs goalie Austin McNicholas. Gendron made his presence felt once again, as he was hauled down driving to the front of the net. Chiefs player Brady Milburn got sent to the box for a critical two-minute holding penalty. The Clippers were unable to steal the lead during the power play and the game would head to overtime.

In overtime the Clippers dominated pace, spending most of the extra period in Chilliwack's zone. In the final minute, Chilliwack stole the puck from a Clipper player and iced the game with only one second left to play. Chilliwack would walk away with the 6-5 victory. The Chiefs outshot the Clippers 44-33 in the game.

Three stars were awarded to Brady Milburn, Willyam Gendron and Brett Merner. Jake Hewitt took home ForitsBC Energy Player of the game for his electric play style. The Clippers' next home game will be a playoff matchup against an opponent that has yet to be determined. They head on the road for the remaining 4 games on the schedule. Playoff ticket packages are available now on  Nanaimoclippers.com or the Frank Crane box office on game day.

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