Clippers come out flying in win
The Nanaimo Clippers blitzed the competition early and that was enough to earn a win.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League team defeated the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-1 on Sunday at Frank Crane Arena thanks to four first-period goals.
“The big key is that we came out ready to go,” said Dave Johnston, the team’s assistant coach. “That’s been a real hurdle for us. It’s an area that we’re really focusing on, is getting better starts from our players.”
The Clippers had all facets of the game working, scoring a shorthanded goal and then a power play goal before adding two even-strength markers.
Korey Morgan opened the scoring on a two-on-none shorthanded rush, electing to keep and shoot from the slot. Bo Brauer scored at the tail end of a PP from a tough angle at the side of the net, then Luke Sandler stole the puck behind the P.G. goal and slid in a wraparound. Anthony Sabitsky added one more late in the frame, finishing off an odd-man rush.
Though the Clippers surrendered a lot of shots over the course of the game – shots ended up 47-42 for the visitors, Nanaimo coaches felt their team carried the majority of the play.
“That’s what we want our guys doing, is learning to play more minutes in the offensive zone,” Johnston said.
Jayson Argue was the winning goalie.
Two days earlier, the Clippers lost 2-1 to the Powell River Kings at Frank Crane Arena. Sandler scored early in the second period of that game and the Clippers led until late, when the visitors struck twice in a minute-and-a-half span to take the game.
Shots ended up 31-24 for Powell River in that one, with Argue suffering the loss.
Combined with a midweek win over the Victoria Grizzlies, the Clippers were satisfied with their results.
“We’re very happy with the way the boys played…” said the assistant coach. “To go 2-1 against three of the upper-echelon teams in the B.C. Hockey League is a good week for us.”
GAME ON … The Clippers visit the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Wednesday (Jan. 22) at Weyerhaeuser Arena, then host a rematch with the Bulldogs on Friday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. The Shipmen are also at home Saturday to host the Kings in another 7 p.m. game. For ticket information, please call 250-751-0593 or visit www.nanaimoclippers.com.