Sports

Clippers clobber Kings in Game 3

Nanaimo Clippers player Scott Prier, middle, battles for a puck with Powell River Kings opponent J.J. Coleshaw during Friday
Nanaimo Clippers player Scott Prier, middle, battles for a puck with Powell River Kings opponent J.J. Coleshaw during Friday's BCHL playoff game at Frank Crane Arena.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The Nanaimo Clippers came at the Powell River Kings in waves, won big, and tightened up the series.

The Clips beat the Kings 5-1 on Friday night at Frank Crane Arena and now trail the best-of-seven B.C. Hockey League playoff series two games to one.

"We kept the enthusiasm, lots of positive energy," said Korey Morgan, who scored two goals. "We were down two games but in our own barn we've got a lot of people behind us."

The Clippers cashed in on the power play three times on Friday, including Sheldon Rempal's goal midway through the first period to break the ice.

"We played with a lot of confidence on the power play tonight and that made a big difference," said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach.

Morgan scored five minutes into the second period as he redirected a point shot.

In the third period the home team put it away. Morgan banged home a rebound at the side of the net on the power play, Jacob Hanlon wristed home a rebound top shelf, then Brendan Taylor swatted in a loose puck on a goal-mouth scramble on another power play.

The Kings ruined the Clippers' shutout bid with just three minutes left, but goalie Jayson Argue was still chosen first star as shots were 37-35 for the visitors.

Nanaimo knew after the first two games of the series that it needed to do a better job getting to the net and it was able to do that in Game 3, winning races and battles to get to rebounds and loose pucks in front of Powell River goalie Jeff Smith.

"We definitely wanted to shoot more and wanted to get to the net harder," Vandekamp said. "I think that goes for everybody at this time of year. It's not rocket science."

The Clippers coach called the win "a start" and the fact that it was a blowout doesn't mean anything now, he said.

"If anything we gain a little confidence tonight, but certainly not overconfidence," Vandekamp said. "We're playing a very formidable foe on the other side so we'll prepare accordingly."

GAME ON … Game 4 is Saturday (March 8) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Tickets will be available at the door. Children 12 and under get free admission to all Clippers home games and tickets for youths 13-18 cost $5.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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