Clippers all riled up for weekend

Next up for Nanaimo's junior A hockey team are home games Friday and Saturday against Chilliwack and Victoria, respectively.

The Nanaimo Clippers skated through a little bit of early-season adversity, and handled it.

Now the team will try to take something away from the experience.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League team (6-4-0-1) earned a pair of solid wins Saturday and Sunday after getting blown out on home ice Friday.

The difference, said Clippers forward Reid Sturos, was “a little fire in our belly” after coach Mike Vandekamp delivered a strong message in the locker room.

“Coach riled us up…” Sturos said. “We’ve got to take it upon ourselves to get riled up and be ready to come out each night.”

If they can do that, they can keep winning, because they feel they had the right game plan all along.

“Our strategy was the same, we just executed it better and came out harder,” said Jayson Argue, Clippers goalie. “We knew what we had to do and nobody doubted what we had to do.”

Next up for Nanaimo’s junior A hockey team are two home games Friday (Oct. 19) and Saturday against the Chilliwack Chiefs (7-2-1-1) and Victoria Grizzlies (8-4-0-1), respectively.

“We’re ready for the weekend coming up because we know we can beat those top teams and we are one of the top teams,” Argue said.

He’s noticed that the Chiefs are one of B.C.’s three nationally ranked teams.

“But we’re not going to focus on that too much,” he said. “We’re just going to focus on our game plan and if we execute it like we did Sunday we’ll come out on top again.”

GAME ON … The Clippers play the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday (Oct. 19) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena, then host the Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday, also a 7 p.m. faceoff. For a preview of Saturday’s game, please pick up that day’s print issue of the News Bulletin.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com