The Nanaimo Clippers won their third-straight game, handing the Trail Smoke Eaters a sound beating.
The Clips were 7-2 winners Friday night at Frank Crane Arena. It was a complete turnaround from the last time the teams met, two weeks ago in the Kootenays, when the Smokies won 6-1.
“We had it in the back of our minds that these guys kind of gave us the treatment in Trail there,” said Sheldon Rempal, Clippers forward. “So it was nice to get some revenge on them and I think we played a great game tonight.”
Nanaimo came out energized, getting all the shots on goal early.
“We wanted to get to the net and I thought we shot the puck a lot,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. “We scored a couple of real nice goals, too, off the rush. So it was just one of those nights it was going in.”
Rempal opened the scoring when he was sprung on a breakaway, and Corey Renwick made it 2-0 just 30 seconds later. Trail got one back, but Matt Hoover’s power-play marker restored his team’s two-goal lead before intermission.
In the second period, Spencer Hewson scored a short-handed goal.
Chris Dodero got open in the slot and scored early in the third period, then Rempal tallied from the side of the net on the PP for his 50th point of the season. Matt Creamer closed out the scoring, ricocheting the puck off the goalie’s pads and in.
Shots ended up 43-27 Nanaimo, with Jakob Walter earning the victory.
“A lot of guys stepped up tonight and I think that was a big key,” Rempal said. “There was some nice plays being made by some other guys and we were able to find some seams and were lucky enough to put a few in.”
The win gave the Shipmen sole possession of first place in the Island Division, but they’ll have to defend it immediately with a game in Duncan on Saturday (Nov. 21) against the second-place Cowichan Valley Capitals.
“Cowichan’s put together a pretty good start to a season over there and they’ve got a good squad,” Vandekamp said. “And we’ve only played them once this year, so it’s nice to kind of get into a little bit of a rivalry with them now.”
GAME ON … Nanaimo and Cowichan face off at 7 p.m. at the Island Savings Centre. It’s the first of six straight road games for the Clips, who don’t return to Frank Crane Arena until Dec. 11.
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) November 21, 2015