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Clippers require more of the same

There’s a good feeling in the locker room after every win. But especially after a comeback win last Saturday on the road in Merritt, at the tail end of a lengthy trip, with an undermanned roster.

“For that kind of a win, you’re kind of like, ‘That was really worth it,’” said Josh Bryan, Clippers alternate captain.

It’s something to build on. The Clippers showed that even with mounting injuries, they can find a way to keep pace in the standings at this important stretch of the season.

“It’s just hard work and sticking together, everyone on the same page…” Bryan said. “You know you have to do more when there’s not as many guys in the lineup and I think we did a good job of stepping up and doing it.”

The win was also beneficial in that it was good preparation for this coming weekend. The Clippers will play the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday (Feb. 8) at Frank Crane Arena and then again on Saturday at Duncan’s Island Savings Centre. The Capitals’ home rink has smaller dimensions, like the Centennials’ arena. It sometimes requires quicker decision-making on the ice.

“We know how to play in a smaller rink now and we have to play the exact same way to have success,” said Greg Fraser, Clippers forward.

Nanaimo has had good results against its neighbouring rivals this season, but the rebuilding Caps shook up their roster last month and will have a new look.

“They’re a completely different team,” Fraser said. “We don’t really know what to expect except for that we know they’re going to come out and play hard. So we have to do the same thing.”

Clippers forward Matt Grant, a former Capitals player, said he always looks forward to taking on his old team and it always seems to mean a lot to win those games. Having seen the matchup from both sides, he has some idea of what it will take to win this weekend.

“Just coming out prepared and ready to work – that’s how we’ve been winning, is hard-working games,” said Grant. “Our skill easily matches up against Cowichan so if we come out to play, we’ll be rewarded.”

GAME ON … The Clippers and Capitals face off Friday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena and Saturday’s rematch in Duncan is a 7:15 p.m. start … The Clippers have reduced ticket prices for the remainder of the regular season, with adult and seniors tickets now $10, the same as the student rate.

Junior clubs team up for Duncan doubleheader

The Nanaimo Clippers and the Nanaimo Buccaneers were both winners the last time they played a doubleheader, and maybe it will happen again.

The city’s two junior hockey teams are organizing a fan bus for games Saturday (Feb. 9) at Duncan’s Island Savings Centre.

The Bucs will play the Kerry Park Islanders at 3:45 p.m. in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action, then the Clips and Cowichan Valley Capitals will take to the ice at 7:15 p.m. in a B.C. Hockey League matchup.

“We believe our Nanaimo junior hockey fans are the most loyal in the league. What a great chance for them to catch both teams in action. Players from both the Clippers and Buccaneers are looking forward to the fan support in what can be a very spirited arena," said Jen Kennedy, the Clippers' marketing director, in a press release. "Hockey Day in the Valley is a great day and we are excited for our fans to have a chance to experience it.”

Cost is $30 for tickets to both games, return transportation and a pizza lunch.

For more information, please call 250-751-0593 or visit the Clippers’ office at Beban House at Beban Park or the Buccaneers office at Classic Appliance on Barons Road.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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