Clippers try to ground Eagles

Nanaimo's BCHL team plays its final home game of 2012 on Sunday (Dec. 9) as it hosts the Surrey Eagles in a matinee.

The Nanaimo Clippers will try to take down the high-flying Surrey Eagles.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League team plays its final home game of 2012 on Sunday (Dec. 9) as it hosts the league’s hottest team in a matinee.

It’s the only action of the weekend for the Clippers and they’re viewing it as an important game, a chance to right the ship before a series of road games.

“We need to get the ball rolling here heading into that long road trip,” said Kyle Kramer, alternate captain. “A win here could start the ball rolling.”

The Clippers have lost three in a row and “haven’t been happy with anything” over those games, said Kramer.

“We’ve got a little bit of a burr in the saddle right now,” he said earlier this week. “And I think it’s a perfect opportunity to have a long week of practice, fix some things in our game and then come out on Sunday and have a good performance.”

The Clippers (14-11-0-2) haven’t played the Eagles (17-7-0-2) yet this season, but Surrey tends to ice speedy teams with skilled forwards.

“Anytime you play a team like that you’ve got to be hard to play against, be sound in your defensive zone and manage the puck well with no turnovers, because a team like that can counterattack real quick and can make you pay,” said Kramer.

Also on Sunday, the Clippers will be holding their annual Christmas hamper drive. The club is encouraging fans to bring a non-perishable food item that will then be directed to Hamperville Nanaimo.

“We are well aware that the need is great for food in our community, particularity at this time of year,” said Jen Kennedy, the club’s director of sales and marketing. “We do food drives throughout our season, but our fans are always the most generous at this time of year.”

GAME ON … The Clippers and Eagles face off Sunday at 3 p.m. … The following weekend the Clippers play three road games over three days at Chilliwack, Penticton and Trail, respectively.

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