By contributor Reid Eccles
The Chilliwack Chiefs were in Frank Crane Arena on Sunday, October 18th, with the intention of defeating a tired Nanaimo Clippers squad that’d taken a loss to the Wenatchee Wild the night before, but the Clippers’ showed no signs of fatigue.
The Clippers opened the scoring with three minutes left in the 1st period when Matt Creamer tucked in a cross crease pass from DJ Petruzzelli. The second assist going to Charley Borek.
In the 2nd period the Chiefs get into some penalty trouble. After a high-sticking minor set the Chiefs down a man Clippers forward Sheldon Rempal exhibits his speed skating end to end and depositing a quick wraparound goal. Just over a minute later a scrum ensues and a few roughing minors put the Chiefs down again. On the following 5-on-3 Rempal scored his second powerplay goal of the period, both assisted by defensemen Yanni Kaldis. The Clippers did not capitalize on the ensuing 5-on-4.
Immediately after the powerplay expired the Chiefs retaliated. Darien Craighead out waited a sprawling Clippers defenseman to set up Jordan Kawaguchi for the one-timer goal to end the period 3-1 for the Clippers.
Over six minutes into the 3rd Clippers forward Corey Renwick caught an edge and slid through Chiefs’ goaltender Aidan Pelino injuring Pelino’s leg. Chiefs’ backup goalie Matteo Esposito had to be brought in and Renwick was given a five-minute major penalty for “goaltender interference” and a game misconduct. The Chiefs were unable to convert on the lengthy powerplay, but shortly after Kohen Olischefski receives a gratuitous bounce and slap shots a rocket past Clippers’ goalie Jonathon Reinhart bringing the Chiefs to within one goal.
The Chiefs’ momentum was snapped with two-minutes remaining when Rempal displayed his offensive talent once again. Protecting the puck down his off-wing Rempal drove to the net and chipped a one-handed backhand off Esposito’s pads, over his head, and into the net for Rempal’s third goal of the game. The Clippers win 4-2.
Rempal’s hat trick Sunday increased his league-leading point total to 28 points in 14 games played.
The Clippers are two games into a five-game home stand. The last home game is Friday, October 23rd against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
Tickets for Clippers games can be purchased at the box office at Frank Crane Arena starting an hour before puck drop. Tickets are only $10 for VIU students, and a free beer is included with admission.