Nanaimo, BC – The Clippers welcomed the Victoria Grizzlies to the Frank Crane Arena on Friday night. The Clippers pulled off a 3-0 victory over Victoria, who must not have known the game started at 7pm. A shutout performance from Clipper goalie Cooper Black, as well as two goals from Kai Daniells led the Clipper win.
The first period was fairly uneventful, 7 shots for Victoria and 13 for Nanaimo. Both teams got early powerplay opportunities but couldn’t sneak a shot past the goalies. With less than four minutes to play in the first, Kai Daniells notched his 21st goal of the year to give the Clippers a 1-0 lead. Shortly after the goal Clipper forward Charles Tardif received a 4-minute penalty for kneeing, that would carry into the second period. The Clippers were able to kill off the 2 minutes to end the first period.
Starting the second period on the penalty kill, the Clippers were able to run the clock down and return to full strength unscathed. Two back-to-back penalties for the Grizzlies gave the Clippers some extended powerplay time in which, Clipper defender Michael Craig was able to launch a shot from the point past Grizzlies goalie Kyle Kelsey to put the Clippers up 2-0. The goal was helped in part by a bizarre sequence that saw multiple Grizzlies players losing skate blades mid-play. Victoria’s line-up made up of affiliated players had the best chance to score, but got denied by second star of the game, Cooper Black. Victoria played most of the game in a lackadaisical fashion, and the Clippers up by two goals, obliged. The second period featured mostly dump and chase plays that were easily snuffed out by Cooper Black.
Despite not registering a shot for the first 8 minutes of the third period, the Clippers were able to lock down defensively. The most eventful part of the third was a post whistle scrum that saw multiple players from both sides awarded with 10-minute misconduct penalties. The Grizzlies mustered 9 total shots in the third, which were handled by Black. With ten seconds to go, Kai Daniells streaked down the boards and fired home his second of the game to seal the Clippers victory in the last game of the regular season.
The Clippers finish the 2021-22 season with a record of 33-17-3 and await the results of this weekend’s games to find out who they’ll face in the first round of the BCHL playoffs. Defender Alex Sukunda was awarded FortisBC Energy Player of the Game for multiple thunderous hits. Tickets for the Clippers playoff run can be purchased at tickets.nanaimoclippers.com or at the Frank Crane Arena box office on gameday.
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