Nanaimo Clippers
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Victoria Grizzlies player Mark McLellan, left, is checked by Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Chris Newton during Saturday night’s B.C. Hockey League game at Frank Crane Arena. The visitors prevailed 3-2.
GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

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Clips bitten by Grizz

The Nanaimo Clippers had a goal ricochet in off their own player, a goal tip in off what they thought was a high stick, and a goal deflect in from behind the net.

The bad bounces added up to a 3-2 loss to the Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena.

“In the dressing room we talked about not getting puck luck but that’s because we’re not working hard enough,” said Kyle Kramer, Clippers alternate captain.

Kramer and Trevor Fitzgerald scored for Nanaimo during the first 40 minutes as the teams went into the third period tied 2-2.

Most of the third was played in the neutral zone, but then Grizz forward Leo Fitzgerald intercepted a clearing attempt in the Nanaimo zone and set up the game-winning goal.

Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach, didn’t think his players should have been trying to force offence in the third.

“What we’re focused on is keeping pucks out of our net and trying to play a strong system all the time,” he said. “At a 2-2 game, you’re not going to veer off track and head down into some other path out there on the ice to try to score.”

Shots ended up 37-36 in favour of Nanaimo with Jayson Argue suffering the loss in goal.

The win marked Bill Bestwick’s first at Frank Crane Arena since taking over as coach of the Grizzlies for 2012-13. A matchup last month ended in a 4-2 Clippers win.

“We owed him from last time; we let him down last time, actually, and I’m really happy about this win,” said Leo Fitzgerald, the game's first star. “I’m happy for Bill and I’m happy myself for my brothers and I and even [Brett] Hartskamp because we all played here and got traded. So it’s huge for all of us.”

ICE CHIPS … On Friday the Clippers lost 5-4 to the Chilliwack Chiefs at Frank Crane. Kramer and Michael McNicholas scored two goals apiece and Argue made 29 saves as his team was outshot 34-31 … The Clips host the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday (Oct. 26) and then host the Powell River Kings on Saturday on a night when the Clippers will honour assistant coach Michael Olson. Both games are 7 p.m. starts at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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