Team will try to play tough on home ice

The Nanaimo Clippers will try to maintain consistency and return to their winning ways this weekend with two home games.

The Nanaimo Clippers have seen what happens when they let up, just a little bit.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League team (3-2) will try to maintain consistency and return to its winning ways this weekend with two home games at Frank Crane Arena. The Shipmen host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Friday (Sept. 27) and then the Langley Rivermen on Sunday.

Colton Dahlen, Clippers alternate captain, said the team was guilty of too many turnovers in losses to Victoria and Powell River last weekend. He said the team would work hard this week in practice to create good habits for game day.

There are a lot of encouraging signs, he said, as the Clippers grow as a team.

“You see plays that some of the guys are making out there, it’s unbelievable,” he said. “But we definitely have to become more consistent as a whole group, defensively, offensively.”

Jayson Argue, Clippers goalie, said at times last weekend, players lost their checks in the defensive zone or turned the puck over on the rush, leading to shots against. Nanaimo will try to do a better job of limiting the scoring chances against the Silverbacks and Rivermen, not really knowing the offensive capabilities of the out-of-division opponents.

“These teams, you’ve just kind of got to take it as not knowing what to expect and that’s almost better because you try and expect everything, and you’re more or less on your toes,” Argue said.

It’s early in the season, but never too early to start establishing home ice advantage.

“It’s key. Last year we weren’t as strong as we wanted to be,” Argue said. “You’ve got to take home-ice advantage as it’s given to you … Home games usually make or break a team’s season.”

ICE CHIPS … The Clips and Silverbacks play Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s matinee against the Rivermen is at 2 p.m. Fans who buy a ticket to Friday’s game get half-price admission for Sunday. For ticket information, visit www.nanaimoclippers.com or call 250-751-0593.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com