The Nanaimo Clippers played their hardest when the game was on the line and came up with a win.
The Clips doubled up the Powell River Kings by a 4-2 score on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena after Jake Harris scored the game-winner on a power play midway through the third period.
“I thought we played well,” Harris said. “It was a really hard-fought game, back and forth the whole game, and it’s nice to finally get a win and get back on track.”
The Clippers were happy with the first half of the game, but not the latter stages of the second period and so it was a matter of regrouping in the second intermission.
Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach, said his team just needed to get refocused.
“It’s about winning shifts and winning shifts means that you’re going to hand over the puck to the next line with the puck in the other team’s end,” he said.
Harris said the Clippers just tried to do their jobs to the best of their abilities and keep things “as simple as it gets.”
“Just get the pucks out of our zone, spend as much time as we can in their zone … keep pucks deep, keep the cycle going and just get pucks to the net, create rebounds and get kind of greasy and find a way,” he said.
He tipped a shot from Spencer Hewson and though the goalie got a piece of it, the puck got through. Hewson added a power-play goal in the dying seconds. The Clippers got earlier goals from Tristan Crozier and Lucas Finner.
Goalie Evan DeBrouwer earned his first win with the Clippers, making 32 saves. He said once his team got the third-period lead, it was determined to battle the rest of the way.
“We just wanted to keep it simple and protect the house and not take any chances because we knew we had the lead and we knew they were going to be pushing hard,” DeBrouwer said.
Due to a game misconduct and an injury, the Clippers played the game undermanned, and coped.
“We got a taste of getting a little banged up and a short bench, but that’s junior hockey for you. So it was a good battle tonight,” Vandekamp said. “I was happy with the way that we performed.”
Liam Lawson scored both goals for Powell River as the Kings outshot the Clippers 34-31. Brian Wilson suffered the loss in between the pipes. The result snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Kings.
“We were slow off the start and our power play, we’ve got to convert more on the chances,” said Kyle Betts, Kings alternate captain. “It’s tough to lose the streak that way. I think we can play better, for sure.”
The day before, the Clippers lost to the Trail Smoke Eaters 2-1 in overtime. Ben Solin’s goal with five minutes left forced OT, but Joshua Laframboise ended it three minutes into extra time with his second goal of the game.
Austin Roden made 21 saves in defeat as his team outshot the opposition 35-23. Zach Dyment was the winning goalie for the Smokies.
For photos of Adam Donnelly’s fight in that game, please click here.
GAME ON … The Clippers play three games in three days on the road next weekend, visiting Trail on Friday (Oct. 14), the Penticton Vees on Saturday and then the Merritt Centennials on Sunday.
Nanaimo Clippers win 4-2 versus Powell River Kings. Working on an article right now… pic.twitter.com/Nr4scTvFou
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) October 9, 2016