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Nanaimo Clippers start BCHL season with back-to-back wins

Clippers defeat Cowichan Valley Capitals by scores of 6-3 and 3-2
Cowichan Valley Capitals goalie Emerik Despatie makes a save on Nanaimo Clippers player Joel Plante during B.C. Hockey League action Friday, Sept. 22, at Frank Crane Arena. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

The Nanaimo Clippers had the kind of home-opening weekend they were hoping for, winning both their games, including an especially entertaining one on home ice.

The Clips defeated the Cowichan Valley Capitals on back-to-back nights to start the 2023-24 B.C. Hokey League season, winning 6-3 on Friday, Sept. 22, at Frank Crane Arena, then 3-2 on Saturday, Sept. 23, in Duncan.

Friday’s home opener was a comeback victory, as the Capitals surprised the home team by taking a 3-1 lead by the first intermission. It was all Nanaimo from there, however, as they turned things around in convincing fashion.

Joel Plante scored twice to lead the charge in the win, and Gus El-Tahhan, Mike Murtagh and Andrew Brown also scored. Clippers captain Brett Merner added a pair of assists. Tom Kiesewetter earned the win in the crease as shots ended up 34-24 for the home team.

The next night’s game was a closer-checking affair, a one-goal game after each period. Luke Bibby, Murtagh and Samuel Boisvert scored for Nanaimo and Tyler Hodges was the winning goalie as shots ended up 35-34 for the Clippers.

GAME ON … The Clippers take on the Penticton Vees on Friday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena, then visit the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday, Sept. 29. For ticket information, visit

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