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Clippers score overtime wins
It was a case of déjà vu, and that was just fine with the Nanaimo Clippers.
The city's junior A hockey team won back-to-back home games on the weekend by identical 4-3 scores, both in overtime, beating the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday and then the Powell River Kings on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena.
What's more, Nanaimo's Brendan Taylor scored the overtime winner in both games, with both goals assisted by Luke Sandler.
"Definitely not lacking in drama," said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. "Hopefully the fans felt rewarded, I'm sure they did, and I know we sure did as a team. It was a really good weekend for us."
On Saturday against the division-leading Kings, the Clips got off to a fast start. Mason Mitchell got off a quick shot on a breakaway just three minutes in, then Austin Dick scored on a point shot on the power play 10 minutes later.
The Kings tied things up in the second, but the Clippers did a good job on the penalty kill and Jacob Hanlon scored short-handed. In the third the visitors scored with five minutes left to force overtime.
On the winning goal late in double OT, Sandler did some good work along the half wall and got the puck to Taylor who did the rest.
Vandekamp said his team was resilient in handling the flow of the game.
"[We] didn't get too flat," he said. "We stayed up and kept working hard and stuck with it."
Jayson Argue was the winning goalie, making 39 saves as his team was outshot 42-27.
The day before, Argue made 40 saves for the 'W' as shots were 44-43 for Nanaimo and Dick, Anthony Sabitsky and Mitchell scored leading up to Taylor's game winner in the first OT frame. The winning goal came on a two-on-one rush and Sandler got the puck to Taylor, who went top corner glove side.
GAME ON … The Clippers have just one game this week as they're at home at Frank Crane Arena on Friday (Jan. 31) against the Victoria Grizzlies. The opening faceoff is at 7 p.m. For tickets, please visit www.nanaimoclippers.com, call 250-751-0593 or stop by the team's office at Beban House at Beban Park.