The road trip didn’t go as well as the Nanaimo Clippers wanted, but it did end on a positive.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League was able to win its last game of the pre-holiday schedule, defeating the Trail Smoke Eaters 4-1 on Sunday in the Kootenays.
The win was an important one for the Shipmen since they had lost the two previous games on the road trip, getting shut out 3-0 against the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday and then falling 5-2 to the Penticton Vees on Saturday.
Nanaimo might have deserved better than the two points, as the Clippers outshot the opponent in all three games. The opposing team received twice as many power plays as the Clippers in all three games, as well.
In the Chilliwack game a Chiefs power-play goal midway through the first period stood up as the game winner. Shots in that one were 40-28.
The matchup against the Vees was close most of the way as the Clips tied it 1-1 early in the second period and then drew to within a goal early in the third before the home team scored a couple of insurance goals. Josh Bryan and Greg Fraser scored for Nanaimo and shots ended up 35-29.
Vees player Sam Mellor, the game’s first star, said his team battled hard for the win.
“We capitalized on our chances and limited theirs,” he said.
In Sunday’s afternoon game the Clippers broke through with three goals in the second period from Fraser, call-up Tanner Burns and Austin Dick. The Smokies got one back early in the third, but that was it, and Fraser added an empty netter.
Goalie Jayson Argue, who played all three games for Nanaimo, earned the ‘W’ as shots ended up 34-29.
GAME ON … The Clippers’ next game is Dec. 29 on the road against the Victoria Grizzlies.
-with files from Emanuel Sequeira