Nanaimo Clippers forward Anthony Rinaldi takes a shot on Cowichan Valley Capitals goaltender Lane Michasiw during Friday’s B.C. Hockey League game at Frank Crane Arena. The Clips came back to win the Island Division matchup by a score of 4-3.

Clippers finding ways to win early on

The Nanaimo Clippers earned two more victories over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Nanaimo Clippers have come a long way in a short time, and through it all, they’re winning.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League team earned two more victories over the Thanksgiving weekend and has won six of its last seven. Nanaimo came back to beat the Cowichan Valley Capitals 4-3 on Friday at Frank Crane Arena, then travelled down the Malahat the next night to hold off the Victoria Grizzlies in another 4-3 win.

“Character is what it’s showing,” said Spencer Hewson, Clippers forward. “We’re winning games and everyone’s willing to do anything to win that game.”

On Friday, the visitors led 3-2 midway through the third period, but the Clips tied it up and then got a last-minute goal to send the fans home happy.

In Saturday’s tilt, Nanaimo built a 4-1 lead and was able to protect it.

Winning tight hockey games represents progress, the Clippers think.

“At the start there we were scoring quite a few goals, but we were also giving up quite a few,” said Sheldon Rempal, Clippers forward. “[Coach Mike Vandekamp] really stresses that he likes to win games 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, stuff like that.”

So scoring three or four goals and winning, as the Shipmen have done the last two weeks, is getting closer to the game plan.

“There were aspects we wanted to improve on, but overall it was a big weekend,” Hewson said.

Cole Maier scored the winning goal against the Caps and Rempal, Devin Brosseau and Jake Jackson also tallied. Jakob Severson made 29 saves for his first win.

The next night, Hewson, Jacob Hanlon, Brosseau and Yanni Kaldis tallied and Guillaume Decelles made 36 saves for the win.

GAME ON … The Clippers play the Powell River Kings on Wednesday (Oct. 15) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena, then host the Prince George Spruce Kings on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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