The Clippers cooled off after a long hot streak, but hockey season is about to heat up again, right away.
The Nanaimo Clippers play two much-anticipated games on back-to-back nights at Frank Crane Arena this weekend. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs make their first visit on Friday (Nov. 7), then the B.C. Hockey League’s top team, the Penticton Vees, are in town the next night.
“Any chance yo get to play against some good teams, you definitely take advantage of it and it’s pretty easy to get up and excited for those games,” said Ryan Forbes, an alternate captain on the Clippers.
The squad knows what it wants to do better after suffering two road losses last weekend against the Powell River Kings. The team didn’t score enough, bottom line, said Clippers captain Brendan Taylor.
“Sometimes we weren’t getting to the inside and getting those greasy-type goals…” he said. “The games could have been a lot different scores if we would have beared down.”
The Clippers took the day off Sunday, then held a team meeting Monday and looked forward to a hard week of practice to “get back on track,” Forbes said.
There was a lack of intensity at times last weekend, he said, but that shouldn’t be the case this coming weekend. Alberni Valley, first of all, is the second-place team in the Island Division, so Friday could renew a rivalry.
“They’re always one of the hardest-working teams in the league,” Taylor said. “We know they’ve got a few skilled players there, a few D men that can skate. We’re just going to have to outbattle them and outwork them in order to win.”
Then come the Vees, who have lost only one game all season.
“I guess most people would think that they’re the top team in this league and we want to prove them wrong and show them that we’re the top team in the league,” Taylor said. “So we’re really excited to play that game.”
GAME ON … Both Friday and Saturday’s games face off at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Tickets will be available at the door, by calling 250-751-0593, or online at www.nanaimoclippers.com.