Nanaimo Clippers players including Preston Brodziak, Tyler Maser, David Melaragni and Lucas Vanroboys, come to terms with the team’s Game 6 loss to the Powell River Kings on Saturday on the road. GARY DORLAND photo

Nanaimo Clippers start looking ahead to next season

Losing is a part of the learning curve, says coach

There wasn’t much separating the Nanaimo Clippers and Powell River Kings, but only one of the teams got to go on to Round 2.

The Clippers were eliminated by the Kings in the first-round playoff series, four games to two, ending with a 5-4 loss on Saturday in Powell River.

This week, Clippers coach and GM Darren Naylor looked back on the series and the season as a whole since he joined the organization last fall when the team was sold.

He said Powell River forward Carter Turnbull was a game-breaker in the series with late game-winning goals in both Game 5 and Game 6, while Nanaimo was missing some key players during the series with team captain Jamie Collins injured at the end, forward Jake Harris ill with a “bad virus” all series and defenceman Jordan Wharrie missing the first four games.

“It kind of took its toll on us…” Naylor said.

“[Our] team worked hard every game. There was never a question of that. We just never seemed to get … the goaltending, the defence and the scoring all on the same page in the playoffs.”

Losing is a part of the learning curve, the coach added.

“It takes time,” Naylor said. “Sometimes you’ve got to lose and feel the sting and then add the pieces and it takes awhile.”

He said amidst the coaching change that saw him take over behind the bench at Christmas, “the players responded the way they were supposed to. They were very mature and they just played hockey.”

A highlight of the year was a 10-game winning streak to close the regular season which kept the Clippers in the race for first place in the division until the final day of the campaign. The whole second half of the season was streaky, and coaches got to see the players through good times and tough times.

“The one positive thing about taking over the team when we did, it gave me a good 2-3 months to really get a handle on the players and what we have and to see which players fit my mould to come back and which players won’t be back,” Naylor said.

He said the hockey club has already begun the process of committing to players and more scouting will take place this week in the Okanagan.

Naylor said he thinks his coaching philosophies are “180 degrees different” from his predecessor’s, and he wants the Clippers to become more of a puck possession team with more speed and skill. He envisions a younger squad next year, too.

“We’ll have our maximum of 20s, but be a little bit younger and start the process of building a real strong team over the next two, three years here that’s going to be a contender,” Naylor said.

The coach thanked fans and told them they’ll get to see “a pretty exciting team” in 2018-19.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Apartment building with affordable units proposed for central Nanaimo

Building on Pryde Avenue will include accessible suites

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Mediator wants to be part of a city council that can get along

Guy Beaulieu will officially announce on Tuesday that he’s running for Nanaimo city council

Regional District of Nanaimo to create conceptual designs for fire halls

Committee endorses standardized design of buildings

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Career connections coming to mid Island this week

The Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair is coming up Thursday, June 21, in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre affordable housing holds official opening

Housing complex on Bowen Road features units that are passive house certified

City urged to support action plan on homelessness crisis

Nanaimo city council presented with reports on homeless count and homelessness action plan

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Most Read