The Nanaimo Clippers outskated the Cowichan Valley Capitals to win the first meeting of the season between the Island rivals. The Clips beat the Caps 7-2 on Friday night at Frank Crane Arena.
Nanaimo surged to a 3-0 lead after one period and was in control most of the night except for one stretch early in the second period in which the visitors potted two quick goals.
“Other than that, it was pretty close to a complete game for us,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. “I thought we did some things we wanted to do. We forechecked well, lots of pucks to the net early and some bodies to the net early.”
The Clippers got scoring contributions from all over the place, and not only that, but all lines were effective with possessing the puck, forechecking and creating chances.
“The last few games, actually, it’s been starting to come a little bit, where we’re seeing a little bit more of a four-line identity,” the coach said. “[It’s] something that we’ve been working hard to get to and something we want this team to be about.”
Matthew Hoover led the Clippers with two goals and two assists, and he also had a third-period fight to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick. Owen Hardy and Adam Pilotte both scored their first goals of the season and Sean Buchanan, Sheldon Rempal and Zach Court were the other scorers. Jonathan Reinhart was the winning goalie as shots were 38-25 in favour of the home team.
With just one game this weekend, it was important to win it, Vandekamp said.
“That was the only job that we had to do the whole week, was prepare for that and get out there and execute and perform and play hard,” he said.
GAME ON … The Clippers host the Victoria Grizzlies on Wednesday (Oct. 28) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.