Powell River Kings player Ted McGeen

Powell River Kings player Ted McGeen

Clippers come through in crunch time for first win

The Nanaimo Clippers scored three third-period goals to beat the Powell River Kings 5-2 on Sunday in BCHL action at Frank Crane Arena.

The Nanaimo Clippers came through in the third period to earn their first win of the season.

The Clips scored three third-period goals to beat the Powell River Kings 5-2 on Sunday afternoon in B.C. Hockey League action at Frank Crane Arena.

“We just really beared down there in the third. We knew what was at stake; we hadn’t won a game in awhile…” said Matt Creamer, Clippers alternate captain. “A lot of guys learned some things tonight.”

The Shipmen hadn’t won at all prior to Sunday, as they were winless in the pre-season and dropped their home opener 4-1 to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday. So there was “a little bit of desperation for a win,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach.

“We needed one; we knew we needed one,” he said. “So that’s what we talked about going into the third is when you want something, you have to go get it, you can’t wait for somebody else to give it to you. We wanted to have an attacking mentality.”

That’s what happened in the third, as the majority of the action was in the Kings’ end of the ice.

“We played a great team game, I thought,” said forward Tristan Crozier, who scored the game-winning goal. “Our passes were crisp, we were getting in on their zone and forechecking a lot, putting lots of pressure on their D, making them turn over pucks.”

Crozier’s goal came four minutes into the third when he went hard to the side of the net and banged in a puck at the goalie’s skates. Ben Solin then scored a beauty on a solo effort, as he drove around a defender, skated cross-crease and outwaited the Kings’ goalie. Jake Harris added an empty-netter.

It was the first BCHL goal for all three players, and earlier in the game, Shawn Guison also scored his first. Creamer was Nanaimo’s other scorer.

“It was fun to see that when we scored a goal, we had to keep every puck. It says a lot about where our team’s at – we’ve got a lot of people having a lot of firsts right now,” said Vandekamp.

Solin had a goal and two assists playing on the top line and was chosen first star. Austin Roden made 24 saves as his team outshot the visitors 44-26.

For the Kings, Carter Turnbull and Tristan Mullen scored and goalie Mitch Adamyk made 39 saves in defeat.

GAME ON … The Clippers visit the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday (Sept. 16) at 7 p.m. at Port Alberni’s Weyerhaeuser Arena, then the Clips host the Surrey Eagles on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com