The Nanaimo Clippers aren’t completely happy with the 2011-12 schedule, but it’s more or less what they expected.
The B.C. Hockey League released its schedule earlier this week.
The Clippers will have far less arduous travel than in recent years, as the new half-interlock format means more games against Lower Mainland teams and fewer against Interior Conference opponents.
Most nights, the Clippers will be battling it out with Coastal Conference teams, so all those games will have implications in season series and in the playoff race.
“We have more balance in the schedule now as a conference than we’ve maybe ever had, which was a good thing and a necessary thing because of the fact that we’re all competing for four playoff spots amongst the eight of us now,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach and GM.
The BCHL tried to increase the amount of Friday- and Saturday-night games for everyone.
“Our home schedule’s good,” Vandekamp said. We’ve got a fair amount of prime nights and from a fan’s standpoint, that’s what you hope to get.”
ICE CHIPS … The Clippers will begin the regular season Sept. 23 on the road against the Powell River Kings, then play a rematch the next day, also on the road. The home opener at Frank Crane Arena will be Sept. 30 against the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The final regular-season game is March 11 in Nanaimo against Powell River.