Clippers beaten by new-look Grizzlies

The opponent had a different coach, but the result was the same.

The Nanaimo Clippers lost 4-2 to the Victoria Grizzlies on Tuesday at Bear Mountain Arena. The Grizz have swept all seven games against the Clips so far this fall.

The Victoria team had a new bench boss this time, as Craig Didmon took over head coaching duties following Bill Bestwick’s firing earlier in the day.

“Obviously there’s a ton of turmoil in Victoria and their kids, they wanted to play well and we just didn’t withstand the pressure that they played with,” said Dave Johnston, Clippers assistant coach.

He said that proved to be the difference in the game, as his team did some things well such as defensive zone play and penalty killing, and held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

“We weren’t happy with our compete level,” said Johnston. “We didn’t show up and put in a hard-enough effort to get a better result …We’re a team that has to provide a forechecking presence and be very physical and we were neither of those things.”

Korey Morgan and Eric Margo scored for Nanaimo. Tanner Kovacs got his second-straight start in goal and made 20 saves in defeat. Nanaimo was 0-for-6 on power play.

Johnston said his team needs to get back to strong systems play as it prepares for road games Friday, Saturday and Sunday against the Coquitlam Express, Surrey Eagles and Langley Rivermen, respectively. The Clips don’t mind the busy schedule.

“Our team likes the three in three,” Johnston said. “I think our team’s better when we’re playing more, and we just need to go back to work.”

ICE CHIPS … For more on the Victoria Grizzlies’ coaching change, please click here.

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