The Nanaimo Clippers, in many ways, are a brand new team. So they’d love for fans to turn up for an unveiling.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League club (0-1-0-1) holds its home opener Friday (Sept. 30) with a game against the Cowichan Valley Capitals at Frank Crane Arena.
“It’s going to be a big night for our team,” said Tristan Lowenberger, Clippers veteran. “We’ve got a new locker room, a new coach. Let’s show our fans who we are and what we can do this year.”
The Clippers didn’t fare as well as they would have liked in their first two games of the season this past weekend at Powell River, losing the first game in overtime, 3-2, and the second in regulation, 3-1.
“We’re learning the system. It is a new system. Every practice we’re working on it and down the road it’s going to be perfect,” Lowenberger said.
The Clippers see themselves as an energy team and want to build that identity by skating hard at all areas of the ice.
“We’re going to try and be an aggressive team and play really well defensively and emphasize hard work and winning the one-on-one battles,” said Brett Hartskamp, another vet.
He noted that Cowichan played a hard-working game when it visited Nanaimo in the pre-season. The Caps already have two wins in the books this season and will be looking to maintain that momentum.
“The home opener itself is always a very high-emotion kind of game,” said Brayden Jaw, Clippers veteran. “Playing Cowichan, the level of intensity’s just going to go up.”
GAME ON … The teams face off at 7 p.m. Friday at Frank Crane. The Clippers then visit the Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday … Not everyone will get to participate in the home opener after the BCHL handed down suspensions for a brawl Saturday at Powell River. Nanaimo will be without Lowenberger, Colton Cyr, Josh Phillips and coach Mike Vandekamp.