In his B.C. Hockey League debut Saturday Ryan Forbes picked up two assists as his Nanaimo Clippers beat the visiting Coquitlam Express 5-2.
Forbes was available to the Clippers because the Cariboo Cougars, his BCMML team, had the weekend off. The Cougars' captain earned helpers on first-period goals by Garrett Brandsma and Reid Sturos and was named second star of the game.
The Clippers win was significant for the Prince George Spruce Kings (23-18-1-7) because it allowed them to officially clinch a playoff spot in the Mainland division. The Spruce Kings sit in third place in the division, eight points in arrears of the Chilliwack Chiefs (30-18-1-7) but with a game in hand.
The Spruce Kings and Chiefs face off Saturday night in Chilliwack, 7 p.m., in the middle game of the Kings final regular season road trip. Friday and Sunday the Spruce Kings are in Coquitlam where they'll face a desperate Express (20-29-1) team who need wins to catch the Langley Rivermen for the final playoff spot in the division.
After the three-game road trip the Spruce Kings return home to the Coliseum for their final four regular-season games when they'll face the Vernon Vipers (March 1, 7 p.m.), a doubleheader with the Rivermen (March 2-3, 7 p.m. and 3 p.m.) and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (March 9, 7 p.m.).
There are only two BCHL playoff spots open as 10 teams have already punched their tickets. The Silverbacks are trying to fend of the Trail Smoke Eaters and the Vipers in the Interior division while the Rivermen are trying to stay ahead of the Express.