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Clippers lose in OT in Game 3, 3-2 to the Vees

Nanaimo, BC – The Nanaimo Clippers lost 3-2 in overtime to the Penticton Vees in Game 3 of the Fred Page Cup Finals. With the loss, the Clippers fall behind 3-0 in the series with the Vees. Clippers goalie Cooper Black turned aside 36/39 shots in the losing effort. Quebec born, Jérémie Payant and Thunder Bay native Keighan Gerrie added the scoring for the Clippers.

The first period started with fast, physical hockey from both teams. The Vees had an early scoring chance turned aside by a sprawling Cooper Black for one of his 21 saves in the period. The Clippers almost opened the scoring on a 2 on 1 chance but Vees goalie Kaeden Lane denied the opportunity. As the period neared the intermission, the Clippers took an interference penalty. Despite a flurry of Vees scoring chances, Black turned them all away. A hit from behind on Clipper defender Jack O’Brien with one second left meant the Clippers started the second with a power play, although the hit injured O’Brien leaving him unable to play game 4.

With the man advantage to start the second, the Clippers were able to open the scoring. After a net front scramble, Jérémie Payant was able to tap home the loose puck for his 5th goal of the playoffs for a 1-0 lead. The lead was short lived, as the Vees tied it at 1-1 just three minutes later. Halfway through the second, the Clippers took a cross checking penalty. They were able to kill the penalty off, but another Clipper penalty towards the end of the period led to a Vees goal. The Clippers headed into the third period down 2-1, looking to make a comeback.

In the third period, both teams locked in defensively. Only 10 total shots in the third, 4 for Nanaimo and 6 for Penticton. The Clippers managed to tie the game with 8 minutes to play. Keighan Gerrie was hit at the blue line, upon getting back to his feet he took a pass from Charles Tardiff on a 2 on 1. After a game of tic-tac-toe, Gerrie wired his seventh goal of the playoffs into the back of the net for a 2-2 tie. The rest of the period would return to defensive hockey. The only other moment of action was when Payant walloped a Vees player in the corner, sending his helmet flying. Three periods wasn’t enough to determine a winner, so Game 3 of the BCHL finals would head to overtime.

It only took three minutes in overtime to decide a winner. The Vees scored after a few chances, taking a 3-0 series lead before Wednesday’s game 4 at the Frank Crane Arena.

Jake Hewitt was awarded FortisBC Energy Player of the Game for multiple thunderous hits. Cooper Black was rewarded for his 36 save performance with third star. Keighan Gerrie was named second star and Vees overtime goal scorer Stefano Bottini took home first star.

Written by Malcolm Cooke.

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