The Nanaimo Clippers wore down the Vernon Vipers and turned a close contest into a blowout.
The Shipmen scored six third-period goals and slammed the Snakes 8-2 on Sunday in B.C. Hockey League action at Frank Crane Arena.
“They were at the end of a road trip, so we knew if we came at them hard, they were going to give up sooner or later,” said Brett Roulston, Clippers forward. “I think that’s what we did. We pushed them all game and eventually they broke.”
Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach, said the key was not to let the Vipers carry any momentum into the game.
“We felt like if we were good in the first half, we might be able to take ‘er over in the second half and run them out of gas a little bit and I think that’s probably how it played out,” he said.
Aggressive forechecking and finishing checks, Vandekamp said, are ways to wear down an opponent.
“If anything, I think it’s just a matter of not making anything easy on them,” the coach said.
Nanaimo took a 2-1 lead into the third period and then scored goals 10 seconds apart early in the frame. Vernon responded right away, making it 4-2, but the Clippers kept coming.
Brendan Taylor scored two goals, Anthony Rinaldi had a goal and two assists and Nick Guerra, Nicolas Carrier, Roulston, Cole Maier and Jacob Hanlon also tallied. T.J. Dumonceaux and Riley Brandt responded for the Vipers.
Guillaume Decelles made 32 saves as shots were 34-34.
“Basically we just played a team game. All lines were firing,” said Roulston. “We’re short-staffed right now, so it was real important that everyone was going.”
The Clippers are missing three of their top offensive players with Sheldon Rempal away at the World Junior A Challenge and Devin Brosseau and Jake Jackson injured.
“We’ve gotten through the adjustment of playing without people,” Vandekamp said. “I wouldn’t say it’s changed our game, but we’re probably just a little bit more focused on keeping it simple … It’s more of a straight-line game for us right now.”
The Clippers were also winners on Friday night, defeating the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 5-2. Carrier scored a pair in that one, including the Teddy Bear Toss goal, Taylor also tallied twice, Nick Gushue had a goal and two assists and Decelles made 26 saves for the win.
GAME ON … The Clippers have two more games before the holidays, a home-and-home series against the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The Clips host the Caps on Friday (Dec. 19) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) December 15, 2014