The Nanaimo Clippers were outplayed in a few different areas of the ice and it proved costly.
The Clips dropped both their B.C. Hockey League games this past weekend, falling to the Cowichan Valley Capitals by a 6-3 score on Friday in Duncan and then losing 4-1 to the Langley Rivermen the next night at Frank Crane Arena.
In both contests, the opposition struck twice on its power play while Nanaimo couldn’t tally with the man advantage. Mike Vandekamp said after Saturday’s loss that if his team had been better short-handed and kept the game closer, it would have been a different game at the end.
“We’ve got to be able to kill those penalties,” he said. “And our power play hasn’t been very good, so that’s a big part of the game.”
Nanaimo’s power-play slump this week just came down to execution, said Spencer Hewson, team captain.
“We’re running the exact same power play that scored four against Merritt one week ago,” he said. “We do it tonight, and pucks are bouncing on guys, guys aren’t getting their shots where they need them to go … It’s not like we need to draw up a new play or new x’s and o’s, it’s just in a hockey game, you’ve got to bear down.”
The Clippers also had trouble establishing a forecheck against the Rivermen as it was the sort of game where not all lines were firing.
"I don't think we were mature enough to see when we had momentum and to build off it, and when you don't do those things, you're not going to win a hockey game," Hewson said.
Adam Donnelly scored Nanaimo’s only goal Saturday and goalie Austin Roden made 26 saves as his team outshot the visitors 32-20.
The night before, Nanaimo outshot Cowichan 38-31 but was stymied by a hot goalie. Tristan Crozier, Donnelly and Tate Coughlin scored for the Clips and Evan DeBrouwer stopped 25 shots in defeat.
GAME ON … Nanaimo plays three road games this coming weekend, visiting the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday (Nov. 18) and then taking on the Rivermen on Saturday and the Chilliwack Chiefs on Sunday.