The Nanaimo Clippers had better enjoy the services of rookie defenceman Sam Labrecque for the next two years.
The 18-year-old has committed to attend Michigan Tech University for the 2012-13 season.
Labrecque joined the Clippers from Stanstead prep school in Quebec and has made an immediate impression in his first season.
Recruited heavily by several NCAA institutions, Labrecque leads all Clipper defencemen in scoring and coach Bill Bestwick describes him as a threat every time he is on the ice.
“He was our leading scorer for a time this season which is uncommon for a rookie defenceman,” said Bestwick. “He has made a pretty big statement in the first 12 or so games of the year.”
Labrecque and his teammates were in Duncan Wednesday and came away with a 2-1 victory in the third of three games in a row against the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The teams split the earlier games, each winning on home ice.
Nanaimo assistant coach Michael Olson said the Clippers wanted to avenge the 4-2 road loss Oct. 24, and despite a depleted lineup, the team played a great game.
“Up and down the lineup, the guys contributed,” he said. “Cowichan’s strength is its power play and we were perfect on the penalty kill. We didn’t give them much all night.”
Cowichan took a 1-0 first period, but Nanaimo’s Colton Cyr tied the game in the second period with assists from Brayden Jaw and Andrew Gladiuk.
Zach Martin got the winner five minutes into in the third period with helpers from Gladiuk and Mike Domsodi.
Nanaimo outshot the Capitals 32-23 with Charles-Andre Pelletier getting the win in net.