The Nanaimo Clippers bounced back in a big way.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League team won 8-2 against the Surrey Eagles on Sunday at Frank Crane Arena, two days after a 4-3 loss to the West Kelowna Warriors at Frank Crane.
“You’re going to lose a game now and again. It’s sports. It’s all about the response,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. “It was important for us to get back on track and play well today. Not to send a message to anyone else other than ourselves, really.”
Sunday’s game was 1-1 after one period, but the home team took its game to another gear that the visitors couldn’t match. Vandekamp said the Clippers showed “stick-to-it-iveness” after the first period to finish their chances and wear down the opposition.
“What we talked about between periods was sticking with it, but with more intensity,” the coach said. “A lot of the same, but a little bit more.”
Nick Gushue, veteran defenceman, said the win was a team effort, with guys “picking each other up” and making the Clippers collectively better.
“It’s a lot easier when guys are committing to their jobs and everyone knows what they need to do on the ice,” Gushue said. “It allows everybody to play with confidence.”
Sheldon Rempal scored two goals, Sean Buchanan had a goal and two assists and Nicolas Carrier, Spencer Hewson, Gushue, Jake Jackson and Cole Maier were other scorers. Edwin Hookenson had three assists and Jakob Severson made 27 saves as shots were 50-29 in favour of the home team.
In Friday’s loss, Rempal, Gushue and Maier scored and Guillaume Decelles tended goal, making 37 saves in defeat.
GAME ON … The Clippers play three road games this week, visiting the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Wednesday (Oct. 29) for a 7 p.m. faceoff at the Island Savings Centre, then playing the Powell River Kings on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday.