Column: Unexpected result as shorthanded Chiefs stay with Clippers

What could have been a rout turned into a tight game and an overtime loss against Nanaimo, writes columnist Jacob Bestebroer.

  • Dec. 11, 2015 12:00 p.m.

After a 9-4 win over the Coquitlam Express and a 2-1 overtime loss to the Nanaimo Clippers last weekend, the Chilliwack Chiefs have moved up to 12th place in the national rankings.

This may sound strange but I enjoyed the loss more than the win.

In Friday’s game the Chiefs played an Express team that was completely out of gas. It was their third game in three nights and they had played in Prince George the night before.

The final result in this one was somewhat expected and not surprising.

The expectations for Saturday’s game were the opposite.

The Clippers came in having won seven straight games. They had played the night before in Prince George but they were facing a Chiefs team that was missing five key players to the World Junior A Challenge Team West training camp.

This game was supposed to be an easy Clippers victory and while they did squeak out a win in overtime, the Chiefs were the better team.

Give the Chiefs players credit, they never believed they couldn’t win and while they were surely disappointed in not getting two points, they have to be proud of themselves that they did earn a single point.

They also had to once again face a Clippers team that played an old school intimidation style of game.

When the Chiefs visited Nanaimo in September, Corey Renwick received a five minute major for running Chiefs goaltender Aidan Pelino. He was suspended for the minimum two games while Pelino missed two weeks with an injury.

Saturday night it was Charlie Borek picking up a five minute major for cross checking Chiefs defenceman Mark Esposito in the face.

Esposito was able to return to the game but narrowly missed losing a number of teeth, and Borek also received the minimum two game suspension.

Until the penalties are harsher, they are going to continue to play this way and players are going to continue to get hurt.

A two game suspension is not much of a deterrent. If Borek would have been given 10 games and each player in the league was made to watch the play and understand the consequences of it, then we’d see incidents like this minimized.

The Chiefs play their final home game before Christmas on Sunday when they host the Merritt Centennials.

Game time is 5 p.m.

The game will feature the annual Teddy Bear/Toque toss. When the Chiefs score their first goal, fans can toss a new stuffed animal or toque on to the ice which will be collected and donated to Chilliwack Community Services.

The first 1000 fans through the doors will receive free thunderstix courtesy of Fraser Valley Distance Education and Fraser Valley Party Rentals will be on site with a bouncy castle and a face painter.

Fans are also invited to join the Chiefs on the ice for a skate after the game.

Skate rentals will be available.

 

jb@chilliwackchiefs.net

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