The Nanaimo Clippers and Cowichan Valley Capitals renewed B.C. Hockey League acquaintances on the weekend with each team persevering at home.
Nanaimo captain Colton Cyr marked his return to the Clippers’ lineup from a broken jaw suffered in the preseason with the winning goal in double overtime in a 4-3 victory at Frank Crane Arena Friday.
The Shipmen jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first period but had to erase a 3-2 deficit to force overtime.
“It was a good character victory,” said Clippers assistant coach Michael Olson. “It was a tough battle to come back and it provided us with some confidence.”
Olsen said Cyr’s presence on the ice gave the team a lot of energy.
“You always know you’re going to get an honest effort from Colton,” he said.
But Olson also saw a few things he didn’t like in the game.
“We took some undisciplined penalties that allowed them to come back,” he said.
“We really have to work on finishing off a team when we have the opportunity.”
Ryan Stanimir opened the scoring for Nanaimo one minute in and Kyle Kramer added a power play marker. Charles-Andre Pelletier got the win in goal.
“We’ve been happy with our goaltending,” said Olson. “They’ve kept us in the games and given us a chance to win.”
The teams stuck primarily to hockey in Saturday’s rematch in Duncan, but the Clippers again had to play catchup and fell 4-2.
“The reason we’re losing games is the top-end guys on other teams are finishing their chances,” said Olson. “Our top-end guys are working hard but not finishing. We should have put Cowichan away both games and have to get better.”
Brayden Jaw and Brodie Jamieson scored the Nanaimo goals and Pelletier took the loss.
The two teams meet again Wednesday (Oct. 27) in Duncan for what Olson describes as a tough five weeks of hockey.
“We have three games this weekend, four-in-five nights the next week and a couple of weeks of three games in three nights,” he said.
“Wednesday will be the typical, physical Nanaimo and Cowichan battle and the team that makes the least amount of mistakes should win,” he added. “We need to get through it, get some bodies back and hopefully get through this next five weeks healthy.”
Nanaimo hosts the Langley Chiefs Friday (Oct. 29) at 7 p.m. and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Sunday (Oct. 31) at 3 p.m. Both games are at Frank Crane Arena.