The Nanaimo Clippers found themselves in a bit of a battle game, and were able to respond.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League team tied the Cowichan Valley Capitals 2-2 on Wednesday night at Frank Crane Arena to run its pre-season record to 1-1-1.
The Caps held a 2-1 lead after the first period and the game stayed that way until just over a minute left, when defenceman Graeme McCormack’s shot from the point on the power play found the twine.
The teams weren’t able to settle matters over two overtime periods.
“There’s some good things that we can pull out of the game. Down the stretch we battled,” said McCormack. “We killed a lot of penalties and we got the late goal.”
Ryan Hunter, who scored Nanaimo’s other goal, said his team “really battled” over the last few minutes of the game.
“But we have to bring that intensity for the full game and not be in that situation trying to climb our way back at the end of the game,” he said.
Billy Faust played his second-straight full game in goal for the Clippers, making 40-plus saves.
The team’s other goalie, Chris Eiserman, is slated to play in Friday’s game against the Victoria Grizzlies. The Clips and Grizz will play again Saturday in Sooke in the last pre-season game.
“With the systems that are being instilled into us, we’ve got to really bear down on it,” McCormack said. “We can use these games to start the foundations of all the things that we want to do in the season.”
The Clippers are expected to make their final cuts sometime over the weekend.
“We’re trying to create a family environment, but everyone knows that there’s still cuts to be made,” said Hunter. “We’ve just got to keep on competing and make the coaches’ decisions’ for who’s leaving harder.”
GAME ON … The Clippers start the regular season with road games against the Powell River Kings Sept 23-24. The home opener for the Clippers is Sept. 30 when the Capitals visit Frank Crane Arena.