The Nanaimo Clippers played the way they wanted to and they won that way.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League club defeated the Cowichan Valley Capitals by a 3-0 score on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena. The win halted a four-game skid.
“We worked hard, we were focused…” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. “I thought we stuck with it better than we have in just about any game, so that was a really good sign.”
Defenceman Colton Dahlen scored goals in the first and second periods for the Clippers, Mason Mitchell rounded out the scoring in the third and goalie Jayson Argue made 24 saves for the shutout.
“We needed to get back to the basics,” Dahlen said. “Everybody was really focused today and doing their jobs and working hard.”
Vandekamp said players were engaged and energetic and that allowed them to force their game plan and keep most of the action at the opponent’s end of the ice.
“That’s how we want to play,” the coach said. “We want to be real aggressive with our forecheck and use our speed and our tenacity.”
Vandekamp said the Clippers needed the win to give them some momentum before a busy stretch of games.
“You don’t always just learn from your failures and your mistakes, you’ve got to learn from your successes,” he said. “We put a pretty decent template out there tonight of how we want to play every night.”
The day before, the Clippers were doubled up 4-2 by the Victoria Grizzlies down the Malahat. Bo Brauer and Sheldon Rempal scored for Nanaimo and Liam McLeod made 26 saves in defeat. Former Clippers forward Gerry Fitzgerald did the damage for the Grizz with two goals including the game-winner midway through the third period.
GAME ON … The Clippers host the Grizzlies on Wednesday (Oct. 16) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.