Clips try to track down wins

The B.C. Hockey League schedule makers got it right this month.

As the Nanaimo Clippers and other teams vie for positioning in the Coastal Conference standings, there are nothing but four-point games on the horizon. Ten of the Clippers’ 11 games this month come against conference opponents, and all 10 of those come against teams that Nanaimo could realistically catch or fall behind by season’s end.

That includes a tilt tonight (Jan. 8) on the road against the Victoria Grizzlies, then a matchup Sunday with the Coquitlam Express at Frank Crane Arena. Going into the weekend, the Express were eighth in the conference but only four points back of the fifth-place Shipmen. The teams have played twice this season, with Coquitlam winning 3-1 on the mainland in November and Nanaimo winning 6-2 on the Island last month.

“It’ll be a good game,” said Andrew Gladiuk, an alternate captain on the Clippers. “Probably not as rough or dirty as the Cowichan game [last night] but it’ll be a hard-fought game.”

Gladiuk said the Clippers players feel as though they really need to push right about now.

“It’s getting to the end of the season,” he said. “Every game’s getting important.”

GAME ON … The Clippers play the Grizz at Victoria’s Bear Mountain Arena tonight at 7:15 p.m., then host the Express Sunday at 3 p.m. at Frank Crane.