The Nanaimo Clippers know they earned their points the hard way last weekend. Already scheduled to play nine periods of hockey, the Clips ended up adding six more periods of overtime to that sum.
“We’d rather win in 60 minutes instead of going into overtime…” said Mike Sones, a forward who played his first three games with Clippers on the weekend. “You never want to go into overtime. But we played hard and we learned from our mistakes and now we know what has to be done.”
Colton Cyr, an alternate captain, said overtime can be fun in small doses.
“Every once in a while it’s nice,” he said. “If you can close the team out in regulation, that’s what you want to do, you don’t want to give up any points.”
Jesse Neher, Clippers rookie, said OT is fun but also nerve-wracking as neither team wants to be the one to make the mistake. He suggested playing the extra minutes of crunch time could help the Clips later in the winter.
“In playoffs there’s tighter games, and if you have that early on in the season then you are exposed to that, so you know what it’s like to play under pressure.”
Last weekend the Clippers were defeated twice in OT before breaking through with a 2-1 win Sunday against the Langley Rivermen.
Now Nanaimo gets another game with Langley, as the Rivermen return to Frank Crane Arena on Friday (Dec. 9). The Clips feel like they need to do a better job of capitalizing on scoring chances, as they know Sunday’s win over the Rivermen needn’t have even gone to overtime.
“I think if we can bury a couple more chances and keep trying to get better before the Christmas break here, then we’re looking good,” said Colton Cyr.
So they intend to build on the positives and keep skating hard at both ends of the ice the way they did last game.
“Nothing’s going to change,” said Jesse Neher. “We’re just going to keep playing our game and if we get a couple more goals, then perfect. No more overtime, it’s fine by us, but if we do [go to OT], we’ll score again.”
GAME ON … The Clippers (14-9-0-5) and Rivermen (11-16-0-1) face off at 7 p.m. Friday at Frank Crane. The Clips then entertain the league-leading Penticton Vees (24-3-0-2) on Sunday at 3 p.m … Mike Sones and fellow forward Dan Correale were acquired at the Dec. 1 roster freeze in a three-team deal that saw forward Tanner Clarkson moved to Trail. For more on the trade, see next issue.