The Nanaimo Clippers weren’t able to show themselves in the best light at the BCHL Showcase.
The Shipmen lost both their games this past week at the B.C. Hockey League’s annual early-season event in Chilliwack. Nanaimo lost 6-3 to the Vernon Vipers on Friday afternoon, then dropped a 4-2 decision to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday morning.
“We just couldn’t seem to get a little bit of a bounce and we were short-handed a lot…” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. “A lot of penalty trouble both games. That was a factor when we were kind of chasing the game.”
The Clippers trailed most of the weekend as they got down 4-1 by the midway mark of Friday’s game and were behind 3-1 after two periods the next day.
In the first game, Adam Pilotte, Matt Kowalski and Ben Solin scored and Austin Roden made 30 saves in defeat as shots were 36-33 for the Vipers. Vernon converted three of seven power plays.
The next day, Pilotte and Spencer Hewson scored and Evan DeBrouwer made 24 saves as shots were 28-24 in favour of the Silverbacks. Salmon Arm had 10 power plays and converted on two of them.
Vandekamp said focus is always a challenge with the Showcase tournament and this year was no different.
“You’ve just kind of got to play through it and I think if we had got a couple bounces early in both of the games it would have changed the mentality of our team a little bit,” he said.
The Clippers are right back in action, as they play Wednesday (Sept. 28) on the road against the Powell River Kings. It’s unusual for the Clips to travel to Powell River midweek, but the team looks forward to the game.
“I’m glad we’re playing again,” Vandekamp said. “I think when you don’t play that well, I like to get right back after it. It’s not a lot of time to dwell on it.”
GAME ON … Nanaimo and Powell River play Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Hap Parker Arena. The Clippers then have back-to-back home games Saturday (Oct. 1) and Sunday against the Coquitlam Express and Vernon Vipers, respectively. Faceoff time is 6 p.m. Saturday against the Express and 2 p.m. Sunday against the Snakes.