The Nanaimo Clippers tried their best to get home ice advantage in the playoffs, but came up one win short. Now they’ll deal with the consequences.
The Clips play the Victoria Grizzlies tonight (Feb. 26) in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series. Just like Friday’s series opener, played after press time, the Clips are tasked with trying to win at Bear Mountain Arena.
“We’ve got to win in their rink if we’re going to win [the series],” said Andrew Gladiuk, an alternate captain on the Clippers. “We’re ready for it.”
Nanaimo didn’t win in Victoria during the regular season, but the post-season is a fresh start.
“As long as we can find a way to play a greasy road game and a meat-and-potatoes style of hockey, just getting pucks on net, playing the body and going after their guys, we should be OK,” said Colton Cyr, Clippers captain.
The Shipmen believe that their brand of hockey is the type that wins playoff games, at home or on the road. So they understand the game plan.
“Just play simple, I think,” said Myles Fitzgerald, Clippers forward. “If we go in their building and play Clipper hockey and get on the puck, we’ll be good.”
Players said they have to adopt a different mindset as they put the regular season behind them and enter playoff mode. Teams might talk about must-win regular-season games, but only now are the games really, truly must-win.
“It’s the end of the run, you’ve got nothing to lose, so you just put it all on the line and do whatever it takes to win,” said Brayden Jaw, Clippers forward. “That’s the mentality we’ve got to go in there [with].”
GAME ON … The Clippers and Grizzlies play Game 2 tonight at 7:15 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena. Game 3 is Monday at 7:10 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena and Game 4 is Tuesday, also at 7:10 p.m. at Frank Crane.