The Nanaimo Clippers had the sort of regular season that leads to high hopes for the playoffs.
The city’s first-place junior A hockey club (37-16-0-5) begins the post-season Tuesday (March 3) with Game 1 of a best-of-seven series against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
“It’s exciting,” said Brendan Taylor, Clippers captain. “We played Alberni I think two years ago and they upset us. They’re a good team. I think we’ve just got to be ready to play and if we play our game, we have full confidence in our team.”
The Clippers dropped their last two regular-season games to the Victoria Grizzlies this past weekend, losing 4-3 in double overtime Friday at Frank Crane Arena and then falling 5-4, also in double OT, the next night down the Malahat.
Sheldon Rempal scored twice for Nanaimo on Friday, with Brett Roulston scoring the other goal.
In Saturday’s rematch, Jake Jackson, Brendan Shane, Cole Maier and Nicolas Carrier were Nanaimo’s goal scorers.
Taylor said the games against the Grizz were Nanaimo’s “final practice games” for the playoffs.
“Getting our lines more consistent with the chemistry and stuff like that is a big thing we’re working on,” he said.
He picked up an assist in each game and finishes as Nanaimo’s leading scorer in 2014-15 with 59 points in 58 games. Rempal ends up as top goal scorer with 29.
GAME ON … Tuesday night’s game is a 7 p.m. faceoff at Frank Crane Arena. Game 2 is Wednesday, also a 7 p.m. faceoff at Frank Crane.