Nanaimo Clippers forward Tristan Crozier tries to put a puck toward the net during the third period of Sunday’s game against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at Frank Crane Arena. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Clippers head off on international road trip

Nanaimo Clippers will play Coquitlam Express, Wenatchee Wild, Surrey Eagles

The Nanaimo Clippers, now past the trade deadline, will win or lose with the group they’ve got.

That group will test its mettle this weekend, Jan. 12-14, with three road games and a lot of kilometres – and miles – to cover.

The Clippers play the Coquitlam Express on Friday, travel to the U.S. to take on the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday, and then face the Surrey Eagles on Sunday.

Brandon Marinelli, Nanaimo defenceman, said it’s the sort of road trip that can help the Clippers become closer.

“Especially as playoffs approach, you want that brotherhood and that bonding,” he said. “That’s definitely something that I think could help us in the short term and long term – the short term being these three games and long term leading into playoffs.”

He said even though the team has dropped four games in a row, it doesn’t have to go very far back to recall winning streaks and point streaks.

“There’s definitely not a doubt in the room that we can get back to playing that way and picking up more points,” said Marinelli, adding that guys returning from injury will help the cause.

As for the three-games-in-three-days trip, he said the outcomes won’t all be determined by what happens on the ice, as things like recovery, rest, fitness, nutrition and hydration become more important during a busy weekend.

“You’ve got to take it one game at a time,” Marinelli said. “You can’t really look forward to the Saturday or Sunday, you have to start off with the Friday and then as soon as that’s over, you start preparing right away [for Saturday].”

GAME ON … The Clippers’ next home game isn’t until Jan. 31, when they host the Victoria Grizzlies at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

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