Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Sam Labrecque

Clippers learn from ‘wake-up call’

The Nanaimo Clippers have regrets about last weekend’s home opener, an ugly 8-2 loss to the Surrey Eagles. They’re hoping fans will give them a couple more chances this weekend to make good.

“For sure. They deserve it and so do we,” said Mike Puddifant, Clippers defenceman. “We’re a good team and we’re going to prove that.”

Graeme McCormack, another D-man, said the Clippers were nervous and scared to make mistakes in their home opener.

“Things didn’t go the way we expected them to go or wanted them to go, but it was definitely a wake-up call,” he said.

Puddifant said the tough loss, combined with the penalty trouble, taught the team some lessons about dealing with adversity. They handled adversity much better a day later in a 4-3 overtime loss to Alberni, when they were again the more-penalized team.

This upcoming weekend’s schedule sees the Shipmen host the Westside Warriors on Friday (Sept. 24) and the Trail Smoke Eaters on Sunday. They’re unfamiliar Interior Conference teams, but Puddifant, who played two seasons in the Interior, is confident.

“It’s a known fact that coming to Nanaimo, it’s never going to be an easy game,” he said. “We just have to outwork them in our home barn and we’ll be fine.”

GAME ON … The Clippers and Warriors face off at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Frank Crane. Sunday’s game is a 3 p.m. matinee … Kyle Kramer, who was injured in Friday’s home opener, is listed as possible for this weekend’s games.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com