NANAIMO — 2017 started with a bang for the Nanaimo Clippers.
But their first game of the new year ended with a disappointed crowd at a very silent Frank Crane Arena.
The Clippers scored the first goal of the night one minute in to the first period, but by the end of 20 minutes they were down 4-1 and the game finished 6-2 for the Victoria Grizzlies.
Matt Creamer opened up the scoring but very quickly goals by Trevor Owens and TJ Friedmann gave Victoria the lead and chased starter Austin Roden from the net.
Evan DeBrouwer came into the game and was beaten by Cole Pickup and then Justin Michaelian on a penalty shot before the first period was over.
There was no scoring in the second period and then the teams traded goals in the third.
Nathan Looysen made it 5-1 on the power play, David Silye got the Clippers second tally on a deflection behind Matthew Galajda, and Cole Pickup ended the scoring with his second goal of the game.
Nanaimo outshot Victoria 29-27 and on special teams the Clippers were 0/9, the Grizzlies 1/6 on the power play.
With the loss Nanaimo is now 0-5 against their south island rivals with three games left in the season series — including another head-to-head matchup next Thursday at the Q Centre.
This weekend the Clippers have two home games against Cowichan Valley on Friday and Prince George Sunday afternoon.
Wednesday's Three Stars
1) Cole Pickup 2g
2) Tyler Welsh 1a
3) TJ Friedmann 1g 1a