The Nanaimo Clippers burst out of the gate to start the playoffs.
The city’s junior A hockey club defeated the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 6-1 in Game 1 on Tuesday night at Frank Crane Arena.
Jake Jackson scored four goals for the Clippers. He scored his first one in the first minute of the first period, completed the hat trick five and a half minutes into the second period, and the contest was never close after that.
“We used a lot of speed and we got a lot of pucks deep today and got back and made their defence turn and it worked really well for us…” Jackson said, adding that his goals came from just being “in the right place at the right time.”
Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach, said the score doesn’t mean anything once the game ends, and said his team didn’t play as well as it can.
“I think our goalie had to be more of a factor than we wanted him to be,” Vandekamp said. “Offensively we capitalized on our opportunities and played well.”
The coach said Jackson had “one of those nights” that can be a confidence booster.
“It really doesn’t matter who scores the goals,” Vandekamp said. “We want to keep pucks out of our net, be hard to play against and be a good defensive team, so I still think we can improve.”
Jackson said Game 1 showed that the Clippers match up well against the Bulldogs.
“We can really play against this team,” he said. “They get broken down pretty easy if we stick to our systems.”
Still, the Clippers won’t be expecting blowout scores most nights in the playoffs. They’re already thinking about Game 2 tomorrow (March 4).
“We came and set the tone and I think we’ve just got to keep pressing as hard as we can,” Jackson said.
Anthony Rinaldi had a goal and three assists, Brendan Taylor had three assists as well and Ryan Forbes was Nanaimo’s other scorer in Game 1. Goaltender Guillaume Decelles made 41 saves as the Bulldogs outshot the Clips 42-29.
Chris Schutz scored for Alberni and Billy Christopoulos tended goal.
GAME ON … Game 2 is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena and Game 3 will be Friday at 7 p.m. at Port Alberni’s Weyerhaeuser Arena.
Nanaimo Clippers win 6-1 in Game 1 of the playoffs. Jake Jackson is first star after scoring four goals… pic.twitter.com/D6RNXdExaX
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) March 4, 2015