The Nanaimo Clippers will need to win three straight now to keep their post-season going.
The Clippers lost 5-4 to the Powell River Kings in overtime on Tuesday at Frank Crane Arena. It was a game of momentum swings, as the Clippers led 3-0 after one period, fell behind 4-3 through two, then tied it to force OT. Nanaimo had the edge in the extra frame and the better chances, but it was Powell River that found a way to score the winning goal about 14 minutes into OT.
“[Their goalie] made some circus saves,” said Jordan Hensel, Clippers assistant coach. “You don’t always win the games you deserve to win and that’s hockey.”
He said everyone could see how good the Clippers were when they were playing well, but said it was “unacceptable” for the team not to be at that level the whole game. He said penalty trouble to start the second period ended up being a turning point.
Gunnar Wegleitner scored two goals to lead the Clippers and MacKenzie Merriman and Josh Bourne were other scorers. Sammy Steele and Tyler Williams had two assists each. Jordan Naylor made 29 saves.
For the Kings, Levi Glasman scored a hat trick including the overtime game-winner and Josh Coblenz and Ben Berard also tallied. Goalie Matteo Paler-Chow entered the game in the second period in relief and stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced.
Hensel said the Clippers will come back with a better effort in Game 5 on the road.
“We still have to win the same amount of games,” the assistant coach said. “It’s not an ideal situation going down 3-1, but I know the guys in the room very well and they’re not ready for the season to end.”
GAME ON … The Clippers and Kings play Game 5 on Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m. at Hap Parker Arena in Powell River. Game 6, if necessary, will be back at Nanaimo’s Frank Crane Arena on Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m.