With the BCHL playoffs on the horizon, the Nanaimo Clippers’ bench boss says the team’s trade deadline acquisitons are contributing in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Nanaimo added forwards Josh Blanchard and Ben Taylor, along with defenceman Marcus Joseph, in January and Mike Vandekamp,Clippers’ head coach, said the players all bring something to the table.
“Both [Taylor and Joseph] have added an important dynamic to our team in their own way,” said Vandkamp. “Ben is a big, strong powerforward. We needed more size and we needed to get a little bit heavier up front and I think he’s brought that game. He’s a good forechecker; he’s hard to play against.”
In Joseph, Vandekamp said the Clippers have a defenceman that can control the power play.
“He’s done a great job in that area and he’s also played really well in all other aspects of the game, so anytime you can add a gooddefenceman to your team, it makes a world of difference and he’s definitely helped us.”
As for Blanchard, Vandekamp said he brings a lot of spirit.
“He has high energy, really good attitude, lots of experience,” said Vandekamp. “He’s brought a calming influence to the group becauseit’s hard to find experienced players at our level. Guys are only here for a short period of time and they move on, so for a guy that’s playedclose to 200 games in the league, he brings a dynamic that’s rare.”
The Clippers are chasing one of two Island division playoff spots with the Cowichan Valley Capitals one point ahead and Alberni ValleyBulldogs, five points behind (as of Feb. 9), with less than a month left in the season.
Nanaimo will host Cowichan Valley Wednesday night (Feb. 15) at Frank Crane Arena.
GAME ON: Puck drop for the Capitals versus Clippers game at Frank Crane Arena is 7 p.m.