It’s hard enough to win junior A hockey games at even strength, let alone trying to do it short-handed.
The Nanaimo Clippers will try to stay out of the penalty box this week as they play three games in a five-day span. The Clips visit the Powell River Kings on Wednesday (Sept. 28) and host the Coquitlam Express and Vernon Vipers on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 1-2).
The Clippers suffered back-to-back losses at the BCHL Showcase last weekend, partly due to penalty trouble.
“We’ve got to be a lot more disciplined to win hockey games,” said Adam Pilotte, Clippers defenceman. “It’s a mental thing. I think guys need to be stronger and control their emotion.”
Matt Kowalski, Clippers forward, said often a team that’s trailing finds itself taking penalties.
“The team that works harder always ends up with the most power plays and we were struggling with our work ethic, so it resulted in us getting a little bit more penalty trouble than we needed,” he said.
The Shipmen will try for a better, more energetic start as they get back out on the ice Wednesday night at Powell River.
“Just get our feet moving and get everybody going, ready to go and excited for the game,” Kowalski said.
The Kings have won three straight, but the Clippers won a matchup between the teams earlier this season.
“We’re going to come out hard, work hard, be disciplined…” Pilotte said. “I think we should focus on our roots: working hard on our system and really doing what we need to do to win hockey games.”
GAME ON … The Clips and Kings face off Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Hap Parker Arena. The Clippers play the Express on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena and play the Vipers on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Frank Crane.