The Nanaimo Clippers earned their first win of the pre-season.
The Clips marked their return to game action at Frank Crane Arena on Wednesday night with a 6-2 win over the Victoria Grizzlies. Nanaimo spotted Vic a 2-0 lead, but dominated the final two periods.
“We really picked it up. In the second and third we really took it to them and it showed on the scoreboard,” said Edwin Hookenson, Clippers defenceman.
Devin Brosseau, Clippers forward, said the team played pretty well as it continued to build chemistry.
“It felt good,” he said. “The boys were looking good out there. We were skating; we’re a fast team, so we try to use that as a strength.”
The Clips had dropped their first two tilts of the pre-season, 5-2 against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and 2-1 against the Grizzlies.
“When you don’t win the first two it is nice to get a result to kind of turn things back around,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach and general manager. “So it ended up being a big win for us.”
Goal scorers for the Clips were Lucas Finner, Ryan Coghlan, Charley Borek, Brosseau, Chris Dodero and Ryan Forbes. Jonathan Reinhart tended goal the first half of the game and Émilien Boily played the second half to earn the win.
The Clippers were anticipating making roster moves today (Sept. 3) in advance of the team’s final two pre-season games.
“We’ve got a couple of pretty tough decisions still to make, probably at all positions here,” said Vandekamp. “I think right now we have 30 players that can play in the B.C. Hockey League so that makes it pretty hard.”
He said some of the roster decisions “kind of tie in to each other,” and suggested that one move would lead to others.
“It comes down to chemistry, positions, what guys bring, filling roles, all that stuff,” Vandekamp said.
Borek, a forward prospect, said it’s best for guys not to think about possible cuts.
“For the most part, if you work hard and don’t really slack it out there, the results will come,” he said. “I think the biggest thing for everyone on the fence is giving it your all, whether it’s in practice or whether it’s in a game.”
Dodero, another forward prospect, said guys just need to stick to playing their game.
“Just find your role – whatever you do best, go out there and do it,” he said.
The toughest decisions of all, said the GM, is with the 20-year-olds. The Clippers are still two over the maximum for that age group.
“Guys that have been here for a while and have done a really good job for our team, those aren’t the types of people that you want to be letting go,” Vandekamp said.
GAME ON … The Clippers play the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday (Sept. 4) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena, then play a rematch against the Caps on Saturday in Duncan.
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) September 3, 2015