Langley Rivermen player Gavin Payne

Timing right for Clippers road trip

B.C. Hockey League club to visit Prince George, Langley and Chilliwack this weekend (Nov. 18-20).

A road trip is just what the Nanaimo Clippers need to put a rough week behind them.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League team, which has dropped three straight, heads off for three away games in three nights this weekend (Nov. 18-20).

“It’s the perfect timing, actually” said Spencer Hewson, team captain.

He said after last Saturday’s home loss to the Langley Rivermen that the Clippers can’t let losing become a routine and know what they need to do to snap a slump.

“Just getting a win. It’s that simple…” Hewson said. “It’s momentum. If we go on the road [and] win Friday, we’re going to have a great weekend. It needs to be the message that’s being sent. It’s going to be sent from the coaching staff, it’s going to be sent from the leadership and it needs to be something everybody buys into.”

Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach, said these sort of stretches are going to happen during a hockey season.

“You just have to stay consistent and work through it. You’ve got to stick with the process,” he said. “That’s what this year’s going to be all about, all year long. We’re going to learn lessons along the way.”

He said some Clippers players haven’t had their best games lately, and there have been some injuries to key guys.

“But it’s no excuse. It is what it is. You’ve just got to pull together as a team,” he said.

He said the road trip will be good for the team and said his guys will be looking forward to the challenge. The last time Nanaimo went on a three-game road trip, it won all three. The coach said although that’s in the past and doesn’t really mean much now, it might give his players some confidence. Hewson said the Clippers will draw on the experience from that last road trip.

“You can kind of point to something,” he said. “This is how we do it, this is how we’ve done it, this is what’s going to happen and it just gives everyone that little bit more belief that that’s how the week is going to go and that’s how this week should go.”

GAME ON … The Clippers play the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday and then taking on the Rivermen on Saturday and the Chilliwack Chiefs on Sunday. Next home action in Nanaimo is Nov. 25, when the Clips take on the Victoria Grizzlies at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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