New-look Nanaimo Clippers win
The Nanaimo Clippers brought a new look on Friday night and it helped them to a much-needed victory.
The Clips hung on to edge the Cowichan Valley Capitals by a 2-1 score at Frank Crane Arena.
“I thought we worked hard and we really earned this one,” said Aidan Casey, Clippers forward. “We’ve been in a little hole here with a lot of losses, so it was good to get the win and hopefully we’ll keep rolling with it.”
Brady Lynn scored his first goal as a Clipper midway through the first period – assisted by Lucas Finner, who returned to the lineup from injury – and then Casey scored midway through the second. The Caps got one back with four minutes left in the third period, but the Shipmen held off the visitors. Evan DeBrouwer made 23 saves for the win as shots were 28-24 in favour of the home team.
The Clippers had a different look to the lineup as two new acquisitions made their debut – puck-moving defenceman Marcus Joseph and power forward Ben Tayor.
“We’ve needed an injection … You can’t just make one for the sake of making one, but we wanted to inject some new blood into the team but it had to be the right kind of moves,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach and general manager.
Both newcomers saw ample ice time in different situations and the coach said that was the plan.
“I think everyone was really excited to get some new guys in here and kind of shake things up,” Casey said. “Things hadn’t been going well before, so anything to kind of spark us and give us that edge.”
Taylor was acquired from the Tri-City Storm of the USHL. Marcus Joseph came from the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL but the Clippers also had to acquire his rights from Ontario’s Carelton Place Canadians. To make room, the Clippers had to trade away an import and so forward Will LeNeave was dealt to the Minnesota Magicians of the NAHL.
The Clippers were happy to beat a team they’re chasing in the Island Division, but said they need any points they can get right now.
“It’s the final stretch of the season already and we need to keep getting these big two points against teams in our division,” Casey said.
GAME ON … The Clippers host the Prince George Spruce Kings on Sunday (Jan. 8) at 2 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.