Clippers takes series opener in Penticton

The Nanaimo Clippers stopped the Penticton Vees 5-2 in the B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup best-of-seven final series opener Friday night.

Vees' goalie Hunter Miska gets tangled up with Nanaimo Clippers' Nicolas Carrier in Game 1 of the B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup finals Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Vees' goalie Hunter Miska gets tangled up with Nanaimo Clippers' Nicolas Carrier in Game 1 of the B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup finals Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The Nanaimo Clippers stopped the Penticton Vees 5-2 in the B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup best-of-seven final series opener Friday night before 2,341 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Vernon’s Spencer Hewson recorded two assists for the Clippers, who rang up four second-period goals in 11 minutes.

“It is obviously disappointing because I don’t think we got scored on five times at home all year,” said Vees’ head coach Fred Harbinson. “But, it is just the start of the series and we have to find a way to bounce back.”

Anthony Rinaldi (2), first team all-star d-man Yanni Kaldis, Sheldon Rempal and Ryan Forbes supplied offence for Nanaimo, who finished second overall behind Penticton.

Ex-Vernon Viper Demico Hannoun and Jack Ramsey replied for the Vees, who outshot the Clippers 38-24. With a Clipper hanging off his back, Hannoun flipped the puck towards the net at an awkward angle. What seemed like a harmless attempt squeaked through the pads of Guillaume Decelles, making it 1-0.

“We played them four times this year and know how each other play. We just had to come out and play better than them with better systems,” said Rinaldi. “We had a slow start and it was nice to see all our guys putting in the effort to get to pucks and score goals.”