The Nanaimo Clippers bounced back with a much better effort and a winning result.
The Clips defeated the Langley Rivermen by a 4-3 score on Saturday night at Frank Crane Arena, one night after losing 7-3 to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on home ice.
“We talked about tonight’s game being a little bit of a defining moment for our team, because to be honest, we can either back it in and lose confidence or we can bounce back immediately,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. “And I thought we bounced back nicely. We played a better hockey game and we were, I thought, deserving of the win.”
The Rivermen scored the game’s first two goals early in the second period, but Matt Hoover scored midway through the frame and then Yanni Kaldis tied it in the final minute of the second. Nolan Aibel scored his first as a Clipper early in the third, then Hoover tallied what stood up as the game-winning goal on the power play. Goaltender Jakob Walter earned his first win of the season as shots were 47-33 in favour of the home team.
“We wanted to come out strong and get these two points and I think it was a great game by our team,” Aibel said. “We got a lot of shots and I think our compete level was very high. We wanted this game. I think we just outworked them and it paid off.”
The night before, Hoover, Will Reilly and Corey Renwick scored goals and Evan Johnson suffered the loss.
GAME ON … The Clippers host the Victoria Grizzlies on Wednesday (Nov. 18) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.