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Nanaimo Clippers forward Reid Sturos tries to get free for a shot on goal during Friday's game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at Frank Crane Arena.
GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

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Clippers respond to loss with win

The Nanaimo Clippers have been good at righting the ship after a loss, and they did it again this past weekend.

The city's B.C. Hockey League team won one of its two weekend games, losing 7-1 to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday at Frank Crane Arena but then defeating the Powell River Kings 5-2 the next night on the road.

Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach, said his team put together three good periods in Saturday's road win.

"Way better focus, way better effort consistently towards our common team goals…" he said. "And we played harder."

Greg Fraser, Brendan Taylor, Josh Bryan, Kyle Kramer and Trevor Fitzgerald were Nanaimo's goal scorers and goalie Derek Dun made 32 saves for the win.

"We got better as the game progressed, which is a good sign," Vandekamp said. "That's what we're seeing quite a bit in our games lately. Our conditioning is kicking in and we're playing well in the latter stages of most games."

The previous night against Alberni, not much went right for Nanaimo after Reid Sturos tied the game 1-1 midway through the first. As the Bulldogs built on their lead, the Clippers got away from their usual style of play. Dun was pulled after the 4-1 goal early in the second period and Jayson Argue stopped 26 of 29 pucks the rest of the way as shots ended up 40-38 for the Bulldogs.

"We're just trying to smooth our game out a little bit," Vandekamp said. "When we're consistent with our game – we played such a strong team game [Saturday] night – it's frustrating when we're not doing that every game. So that's the focus right now."

GAME ON … The Clippers (29-19-0-3) play three games next weekend, starting with a home game Friday (March 1) against the Victoria Grizzlies at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. The Clips then visit the Grizz on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena and then play the Bulldogs on Sunday in a 2 p.m. matinee at Port Alberni's Weyerhaeuser Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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