A weary Nanaimo Clippers team rolled into the Port Alberni Bulldogs’ house Tuesday night and came away with a few bites.
The Bulldogs blanked the Clippers 4-0.
“It was the tail end of five games in seven nights and we just didn’t have the gas left in the tank,” said Michael Olson, Clippers assistant coach. “We didn’t execute the way we know we can, we had some defensive breakdowns, we didn’t capitalize on opportunities.”
Nanaimo came out strong in the first frame, firing 14 shots on Frank Slubowski, who earned the shutout.
Production slipped steadily from there as Nanaimo managed just two shots on goal in the second period.
“We spent eight minutes of [the second period] killing penalties and we were down a defencemen so there was little chance to mount an attack,” said Olson.
Alberni’s Lars Hepso scored midway through the first while Dylan Nowakowski and Kenney Morrisson both added power play markers in the second period to give Alberni a 3-0 lead.
Brandon Adams secured the win for the Bulldogs at 6:06 of the third period.
The loss prevented the Clippers from leapfrogging Island rival Victoria Grizzlies in the B.C. Hockey League standings. Victoria sits in fourth place in the Coastal Conference with 55 points while Nanaimo (24-21-1-5) remains at 54 points.
Despite beating Victoria and Cowichan in its previous two games, Olson said it is always disappointing to lose to Island rivals. Nanaimo is 6-3-0-1 in its last 10 games.
The Clippers had an optional skate Wednesday and were expected to have a light practice today (Jan. 27) to rest up for the Vees, who are second in the Interior Conference with 65 points and a 31-14-2-1 record. Penticton is 7-3-0-0 in its last 10 games.
Penticton and Nanaimo square off at Frank Crane Arena Friday (Jan. 28).