When the Nanaimo Clippers bust out of a slump, they really bust out of a slump.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League team crushed the Prince George Spruce Kings 10-2 on Friday night at Frank Crane Arena to put an end to a seven-game winless skid.
The Shipmen came out guns a’blazing against a Spruce Kings team that was several steps behind. By the end of the first period it was 8-1 and both teams basically killed time the rest of the night.
The Clippers’ attack was led by Mike Domsodi, who scored a hat trick and totalled five points, and linemate Brayden Jaw, who had two goals and five points.
“We hadn’t won a home game so that was major motivation for us,” said Jaw. “We just wanted to come out flying.”
Domsodi said his team had the right kind of energy at puck drop.
“We went hard on the forecheck and that was a big difference maker,” he said. “We were going hard through guys and turning over a lot of pucks.”
Domsodi opened the scoring just three minutes in, completing a two-on-one rush with Jaw, then scored the second goal, too, ricocheting a puck in from a tough angle.
Myles Fitzgerald made it 3-0 midway through the period, rushing down the wing and eventually dribbling a puck past Spruce Kings goalie Kirk Thompson.
A minute later, Leo Fitzgerald was awarded a penalty shot and succeeded in deking out Sprucies replacement netminder Ryan Benitez.
Prince George got one back on the power play from highly touted rookie Jujhar Khaira, but Nanaimo responded 20 seconds later as Dominic Savoie dangled around a defencemen and whacked his own rebound into the back of the net.
Jaw then got into the scoring act, left alone in front of the Prince George crease, and Kyle Kramer scored 11 seconds later when he wired a wrister into the back of the net. Domsodi rounded out the first-period barrage by banging in a rebound for his hat-trick goal.
There was no more scoring until midway through the third period, when Gerry Fitzgerald got open for a pass in the slot and blasted a puck past Thompson. The Sprucies scored 30 seconds later, but the Shipmen responded 30 seconds after that when Jaw found the rebound of a Sam Labrecque point shot.
“It’s amazing what will happen if you put the puck into the blue paint and if you go to the net hard and you create some screens and you generate traffic,” said Bill Bestwick, Clippers coach.
At the other end of the Frank Crane Arena corridor, the Spruce Kings weren’t satisfied with their effort.
“We just came out flat in the first period and obviously it showed; we just didn’t work hard today,” said Connor Tiechko, a P.G. forward who used to play for Nanaimo. “[The Clippers] forecheck hard, they’re in your face, fast, physical. They played a good game today.”
The Shipmen are happy to bust their slump, get a win and score some goals, but they intend to get better still.
“There’s a lot more things we can do individually and collectively to have more positive extended periods of time,” Bestwick said.
ICE CHIPS … Charles-Andre Pelletier was the winning goalie, making 21 saves as his team outshot the visitors 42-23 … Kramer and Todd Gebert returned to the lineup from injury … Marc Guertin has been released by the hockey club … The next game for the Clippers is Wednesday (Oct. 13) when the team hosts the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at 7:10 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.