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Clippers take a 2-0 series lead with a 3-0 shutout of Langley Rivermen

Nanaimo, BC – The Nanaimo Clippers took a 2-0 series lead with a 3-0 win over the Langley Rivermen on Saturday. BCHL Goalie of the Year nominee Cooper Black extended his playoff shutout streak to 231:46 minutes in the victory. Army commit Jake Hewitt scored two goals, including an empty netter. With the win, the Clippers have secured victories in 10 straight playoff games.

The first period started with Brody Waters taking a tripping penalty thirty seconds into the game. The penalty kill unit managed to hold Langley off. With the early momentum, Hewitt scored off a Kai Daniells rebound to give the Clippers a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game. Coincidental minor penalties to both teams led to a full two minutes of 4 on 4, but neither side scored with the extra ice. Overall, Nanaimo pushed the pace in the first and picked apart Langley’s defence for 14 first-period shots.

Defensive hockey dominated the second period, the Clippers were happy to play with the lead. They added to their lead thirteen minutes into the second with a Keighan Gerrie shot banking of Sean Donaldson’s visor for Donaldson’s 10th of the playoffs, and first header of the season. Simultaneous minor penalties to Langley gave the Clippers a full two-minute 5-on-3 power-play but were unable to score. Another Langley penalty late in the period meant the Clippers started the third period with a power-play.

The Clippers had an early chance to score with the man advantage but couldn’t finish. Another set of coincidental minor penalties meant more 4 on 4, with a short 4 on 3 advantage for Nanaimo, but the defence was the name of the game. Halfway through the third, Black made his most spectacular of his 26 saves, with a sprawling, cross-crease robbery. Jake Hewitt potted an empty netter for a 3-0 lead shortly after and sealed the win.

The Clippers will head to Langley on Tuesday for Game 3 looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Coastal Division Championship. FortisBC Energy Player of the Game was awarded to Andrew Noel for a strong defensive performance. Black, Hewitt, and Donaldson were all named stars of the game.

Written by Malcolm Cooke.

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