Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Nick Gushue

Vees outscore Clippers 8-5 to tie series

The Penticton Vees outscored the Nanaimo Clippers 8-5 in a barnburner of a Game 4 on Tuesday night at Frank Crane Arena.

So much for tight-checking, low-scoring playoff hockey.

The Penticton Vees outscored the Nanaimo Clippers 8-5 in a barnburner of a Game 4 on Tuesday night at Frank Crane Arena and the BCHL finals are now tied at two games apiece.

The Clips held a 2-1 lead after one period of hockey Tuesday, but the Vees scored four straight goals in the second period, including three on the power play, to build a lead they didn’t relinquish.

“It was a really interesting affair, to say the least,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. “We just didn’t stay focused as well as we needed to be, so that’s why we lost the game.”

The coach said his team generally played good hockey, skating well, forechecking with energy and producing shots, but had some costly stretches of play.

“We took some bad penalties. The officiating is what it is – we had to kill those penalties; we didn’t…” said Devin Brosseau, Clippers alternate captain. “We played with emotion, but at the end of the day, we lost.”

Dakota Conroy, Vees forward, said his team kept pressing and battling all game, and scored “a couple lucky ones and a couple of good goals, as well” against Clippers goalie Guillaume Decelles.

“We’ve been creating good offence throughout most of the games and we’ve always had good spurts, but he’s been playing well and it was nice to get a couple by him tonight,” Conroy said.

Brosseau, Sheldon Rempal, Spencer Hewson, Jake Jackson and Brendan Taylor scored for the Clippers. Steen Cooper and Tyson Jost had two goals apiece for the Vees, Conroy had four assists and Gabe Bast, Mike Lee, Demico Hannoun and Jordan Bellerive were Penticton’s other scorers. Hunter Miska was the winning goalie as shots ended up 41-38 in favour of the Vees.

Conroy said winning Game 4 was huge for his team.

“It’s a different mentality almost, now that we’re back to Square 1,” he said. “We dug ourselves out of a hole and we don’t want to put ourselves back in one, so here we go.”

The Clippers won’t dwell on what went wrong in Game 4, said Vandekamp, and he expects his skaters and his goalie to bounce back.

“We’ve really got to leave everything behind here at this point and move forward,” he said.

GAME ON … Game 5 goes Thursday (April 16) at 7 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Game 6 will be back in Nanaimo the next night at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Game 7, if necessary, is Sunday at 6 p.m. in Penticton.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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