High-scoring Clippers win one
The Nanaimo Clippers’ goal scoring was a constant on an up-and-down weekend, and it helped the team to a victory.
The city’s junior A hockey team won one of its two games, defeating the Powell River Kings 7-1 on Saturday on the road one night after a 6-4 home loss to the Vernon Vipers.
Coach Mike Vandekamp said his team was loose defensively and wasn’t sharp in goal in Friday’s loss. Those factors prevented the team from gaining much momentum after goals.
“There wasn’t much flow to the game. It was a pretty ugly game,” said the coach. “We mustered up a lot of attack, we just didn’t keep it out.”
Reid Sturos scored twice for the Clips and Matt Grant and Garrett Brandsma also tallied. Jayson Argue was pulled in the loss as Nanaimo outshot Vernon 44-24.
Former Clipper Mason Blacklock was selected the game’s first star with a goal and three assists.
Vandekamp said the defeat stressed the need for the Clippers to come out focused and ready every game.
“We are not good enough to come out and play river hockey and win,” said the coach. “We have to play solid as a team. We have to be focused on that.”
The next night’s game took a little while to become a blowout. The score was 2-1 for Nanaimo late in the second period. With 45 seconds left in the frame, the Clippers got a goal and the Kings took a double-minor penalty during the visitors’ goal celebration. Nanaimo broke it open with one power-play marker late in the second, one more early in the third and another goal seven seconds after that.
Kyle Kramer finished with two goals, Trevor Fitzgerald and Sturos had a goal and an assist each and Brendan Taylor, Aaron Hadley and Grant were the other scorers. Derek Dun stopped 37 of 38 shots and was chosen first star.
GAME ON … The Clippers play the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Wednesday (Jan. 23) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Nanaimo is also at home for games Friday and Sunday against the Trail Smoke Eaters and Merritt Centennials, respectively.