It took until the last game of the regular season, but the Nanaimo Clippers were able to emerge as Island Division champions.
The Clippers (37-17-2-2) blew out the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 6-1 on the road Sunday to complete a remarkable climb over their last 10 games to slip past the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
The Clips edged the Caps 2-1 on Friday at Frank Crane Arena, keeping them in the hunt, and a Cowichan loss to Alberni on Saturday opened the door for Nanaimo.
In Sunday’s division-clinching win, Ethan Scardina scored twice and Tim Washe, Travis Walton, Tyler Williams and Kyler Kovich scored and Jordan Naylor made 27 saves. In Friday’s win, Josh Bourne scored a final-minute game-winning goal, Liam Ryan also tallied and Naylor made 30 saves.
Bourne ends the season as the Clippers’ scoring leader in both goals (29) and points (58), while Naylor ends 2019-20 tied for first in the BCHL in wins (30).
GAME ON … The Clippers play the Bulldogs in Round 1 of the post-season. A playoff schedule has not been released, but Game 1 is expected to take place Friday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena, with Game 2 the next night at Frank Crane.