Players take orientation camp seriously

Forty players had something to prove, which made for a fast-paced summer camp. The Nanaimo Clippers held a two-day orientation camp at the Nanaimo Ice Centre this past weekend.

Nanaimo Clippers prospects including Jesse Neher

Nanaimo Clippers prospects including Jesse Neher

Forty players had something to prove, which made for a fast-paced summer camp.

The Nanaimo Clippers got to look at a lot of players over two days this past weekend at orientation camp at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

“It’s good to get back together with everyone and rekindle and see some new guys that are coming up in the system…” said Andrew Gladiuk, the team’s MVP last year. “Everyone was going hard and taking it seriously and having some fun out there, too.”

He said guys were a bit “on edge” knowing that the new coach, Mike Vandekamp, was evaluating them and making decisions.

“The beginning stage is pretty nervous,” said Brayden Jaw, another veteran forward. “It’s a new coach, new organization, new owners, all that stuff. You get nervous at the start but I think once the first practice kicked in we all got used to it, got comfortable and as the games went on we got better and better.”

The unusual timing of the camp made it impossible for players to put their best skate forward, but they certainly tried.

“I know all the veteran guys wanted to make a good impression on coach, so they did what they could to get in shape, and I’m sure the guys that are looking to get themselves a spot at main camp came in here in good shape,” said Colton Cyr, team captain. “So it was a lot more high-paced than you’d normally see in a little summer camp like this, which only made it better.”

The intrasquad games were a lot of fun, he said, and all the Clippers played like they wanted to win.

“Obviously we’re not going to be in mid-season form, but it’s good to get out there and get our legs going again,” Gladiuk said.

So the orientation camp was a benefit now, and will offer more benefits in September when the team reassembles for training camp.

“We’re going to be ready to go as soon as main camp opens,” Gladiuk said. “We’ll all be more comfortable with everyone and know what the program is and I think it’ll help us in the long run.”

ICE CHIPS … The Nanaimo Clippers are selling season tickets for the 2011-12 B.C. Hockey League season. For info, call 250-751-0593.

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