The Nanaimo Clippers weren’t able to sweep their series, and they have some work to do to try to advance.
The Clips lost 4-1 to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Monday at Port Alberni and the best-of-five series now stands at two games to one in favour of Nanaimo.
The Clippers played a strong first period, but misfired on a couple of prime scoring opportunities. Eventually Brenden Forbes’ hard shot from the slot squeaked past Bulldogs goalie Jay Deo and across the goal line, pulling the Shipmen into a 1-1 tie by the first intermission.
The ‘Dogs scored early in the second, mostly controlled that period, and the Clips never really had any more sequences of extended pressure.
“We certainly did not continue to be as committed to some of the little things that made us successful in the first two games, that’s for sure,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach.
He said his team made too many soft plays in the defensive zone, didn’t commit in the neutral zone, and didn’t work hard enough on the forecheck. There was also a lack of net traffic, he said.
With Game 4 fast approaching, back at Port Alberni on Tuesday (March 19), the Clippers will look for a quick fix.
“It better be fast, because we’re playing every day now, so we don’t have time,” Vandekamp said. “We’ve given up momentum. We have to get it back.”
ICE CHIPS … Jayson Argue made 30 saves in defeat as his team was outshot 34-33. Matthew Hansen scored two goals for Alberni and Tryg Strand and Teal Burns had the Bulldogs’ other markers … Game 4 is a 7 p.m. start at Alberni’s Weyerhaeuser Arena. Game 5, if necessary, would be Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.