The Nanaimo Clippers knew how important this past weekend’s games were, and they met the challenge.
The Clippers swept their home-and-home series against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday with a 3-0 shutout on home ice followed by a 3-2 overtime victory on the road.
Nanaimo was able to complete the sweep thanks to a game-winning goal from Jamie Collins a minute and a half into the overtime frame. He stole a puck and had time and space to swing in front of the Alberni Valley netminder and score.
Jake Harris had tied things up with two and a half minutes left in the third period and Vincent Millette was Nanaimo’s other scorer. Evan DeBrouwer made 36 saves for the win as shots were 43-38.
The contest hadn’t been as close the night before as the Clippers outshot the Bulldogs 42-22, with DeBrouwer earning the shutout. David Silye and Collins scored second-period goals and then Sean Buchanan added an insurance marker early in the third period.
The fourth-place Clips went into the weekend with just a one-point lead in the standings over the fifth-place Bulldogs, but pushed that to a four-point margin.
GAME ON … The Clippers take their final road trip off the Island this weekend (Jan. 27-29) as they visit the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Vernon Vipers and then the Surrey Eagles.