Clippers making changes

Nanaimo Clippers newcomers Mike Dopko

The Nanaimo Clippers won’t stand pat during a winless skid.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League team added two players last week – defenceman Mike Dopko and forward Brodie Jamieson.

Both got in the lineup this past weekend and both are fitting in to their new surroundings.

The 20-year-old Dopko had asked for a trade from Manitoba’s Neepawa Natives and got his wish.

“Everybody knows who the Nanaimo Clippers are and everybody knows that B.C.’s one of the better leagues in the country so I was real happy,” he said.

The situation was a little different for Jamieson. The 18-year-old was released by the Surrey Eagles, but said it isn’t any kind of downer to be traded to the last-placed Clips.

“It seems like [we’re] in all the games, just losing by one goal,” he said. “It seems like [we’re] really close to turning the corner.”

Jamieson sees an opportunity for more ice time in Nanaimo. The 5-foot-9, 165 pounder from North Vancouver is comfortable playing any forward position.

“I always try to be a two-way player, work as hard as I can, contribute at both ends of the ice, bring lots of energy,” he said.

Dopko, a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder from Makwa, Sask., considers himself a stay-at-home defenceman.

“I play a tough game and try to keep the other guys honest – they don’t touch my goalie,” he said.

The two newcomers were slotted into the lineup immediately despite a lack of practice time with their new teammates.

Jamieson said it was “interesting” to join the Clippers Saturday and play that night.

“You’ve got to work as hard as you can, try new things, different systems,” he said.

Dopko said the transition was tough.

“Obviously I wasn’t quite sure of the systems and stuff yet, but I just go out there and keep it simple,” he said.

The big blueliner has only been around for two games, but he believes his new team is about to break through and start winning.

“Even before I got here there were so many close games, overtime losses, things like that,” Dopko said. “We’re right there. We just need one game here to turn the corner and set sailing.”

GAME ON … The Nanaimo Clippers play just one game this week, as they host the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday (Oct. 8) at 7:10 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com