The Nanaimo Clippers crashed the crease and then won the game in overtime.
The Clippers defeated the Langley Rivermen 4-3 on Friday night in B.C. Hockey League action at Frank Crane Arena.
Nanaimo got three goals from Liam Ryan, then an overtime winner from Steven Agriogianis a minute and a half into three-on-three. The Rivermen had scored with the goalie pulled to tie the game late, but Agriogianis’s wrister found the far side of the net.
“I thought we played a pretty solid game,” said Darren Naylor, Clippers coach. “We gave up the late one, we don’t like doing that, but our power play was really good tonight and five-on-five, I thought we were pretty good. I was happy with the game.”
Ryan’s first BCHL hat trick came in his first game being promoted to the power play.
“We had to make some adjustments to our power play and he was the one guy we made the adjustment with,” Naylor said. “We wanted to get some bigger bodies at the net and he’s a right-hander and growing up he’s played power play all his life, so he’s comfortable playing there and he made us look good tonight.”
Ryan’s first goal came a few seconds after a power play expired, and the next two were PP goals.
“I was just standing in front of the net there and pucks just seemed to be bouncing my way,” Ryan said. “My linemates were getting the pucks to the net and I was in the crease, so I got a couple lucky bounces there.”
Aiden Hansen-Bukata had three assists and Jordan Naylor made 28 saves for the win.
The Clippers face the Island Division-leading Cowichan Valley Capitals in Duncan tonight, Jan. 25.
“We’re trying to catch them, we haven’t given up on that, so we want to come in and get on the right side of these guys,” Darren Naylor said.
Ryan said the exciting ending of Friday’s game could have a carry-over effect for the Clippers.
“We’re going to have some energy to build into [Saturday]’s game,” he said. “I know the boys are going to be very excited to play.”
GAME ON … The Clippers and Capitals face off at 6 p.m. at the Island Savings Centre. The Clippers are home again on Wednesday, Jan. 29, for a 7 p.m. game against the West Kelowna Warriors.