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Clippers play more key games

For the Nanaimo Clippers to climb the standings, they need to take advantage of these sorts of weekends.

The Clippers play the Vernon Vipers on Friday (Jan. 18) and on Saturday they visit the Powell River Kings.

The Clippers (21-14-0-2) are ahead of both those teams in the B.C. Hockey League standings. The Vipers (12-19-0-7) were sellers at the trade deadline and the Kings (17-18-2-4) are close on the Clippers' heels in the Island Division standings.

“We’ve just got to stay focused and not really think about who we’re playing, but just make sure that we bring our best game,” said Chris Newton, Clippers rookie.

Any team is capable of beating any other team, he said.

"We definitely don't want to look at the standings and consider them a lower team," said Nick Gushue, Clippers defenceman. "We need to take every game the same and play as hard as we can."

The Clips have won four in a row and six of their last seven, and have added roster reinforcements during that time, too, all good reasons for optimism in the locker room.

"The boys are coming together pretty well after the trade deadline and I'm liking what I'm seeing," said Newton.

GAME ON … Friday's game against the Vipers is a 7 p.m. faceoff at Frank Crane Arena … The Bulletin's annual player profiles pages will be published in Saturday's print issue.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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