Team looks to seize opportunities

Nanaimo Clippers forward Kyle Kramer forechecks during a game against the Victoria Grizzlies last week at Frank Crane Arena. The Clips are in action again Wednesday (Nov. 17) when they entertain the Quesnel Millionaires in a 7:10 p.m. start at Frank Crane.

The Nanaimo Clippers are a little better equipped to compete now that they have a few more players on the bench.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League team (10-10-1-3) has had to play through all kinds of injury pain to start the season, but has managed 24 points over 24 games. Now they think they’re trending in the right direction.

“We know that we do have a good team,” said Brett Bestwick, assistant coach. “It’s just a matter of putting those bodies all in the lineup at the same time.”

Team captain Colton Cyr said some of the team’s younger players have had to adjust to playing a lot of minutes in key situations.

“We’re starting to learn how to win,” said Cyr. “It’s about keeping it simple and I think guys are starting to learn now.”

The Clippers have an excellent chance to extend their two-game win streak as two struggling teams will skate into Frank Crane Arena this week. The Quesnel Millionaires visit on Wednesday (Nov. 17) and the Merritt Centennials stop by on Friday (Nov. 19).

Nanaimo has had a few days to prepare itself for the last-placed Mills.

“It’s a game in hand that we have over a couple teams and we really need to capitalize on those opportunities,” said Bestwick.

Cyr said the Millionaires have sometimes surprised the Clippers with their work ethic, so Nanaimo will try to be fired up right from opening faceoff.

“On a Wednesday night the building’s not as full as we’d like it to be, so we’ve got to create our own energy,” Cyr said.

GAME ON … The Clips and Mills face off at 7:10 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Friday’s game against the Cents is also a 7:10 p.m. start at Frank Crane.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com