The Nanaimo Clippers will be glad to see the calendar turn over to a new month, and a fresh start.
The Clips suffered another loss Wednesday, falling 2-1 in overtime to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at Frank Crane Arena. It extended Nanaimo’s winless streak to nine games.
“We were carrying the play, we just let them hang around,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. “You’ve got to bear down on your opportunities. We need people to take charge.”
The Shipmen opened the scoring midway through the second period as Jake Harris tallied. But early in the third period, the Clippers couldn’t get the puck out of their zone and it eventually ended up in the back of their net on a Jordan Sandhu goal.
“I thought we played a really good hockey game until they scored, and right now, because we haven’t been having too much success lately, everybody balls up into a tight ball and nobody’s playing loose, with confidence. No one,” Vandekamp said.
The game ended just 37 seconds into overtime. Nanaimo had one promising rush, but didn’t score, and Alberni got a stride ahead as the play went back the other way and Mackenzie Wight deked and scored.
“This was the biggest game of the year for us. It’s a team we need to catch in the standings if we’re going to make playoffs…” said Alex Evin, Bulldogs assistant coach. “We definitely were a lot hungrier in the second half of the game and it showed.”
Brody Claeys earned the win in goal, making 27 saves, while Evan DeBrouwer made 23 saves in defeat.
GAME ON … The Clippers play a home-and-home series against the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 2-3), starting with a 7 p.m. faceoff Friday at Frank Crane Arena. The Bulldogs start a road trip Friday, visiting the Trail Smoke Eaters before continuing on to play the West Kelowna Warriors on Saturday and the Surrey Eagles on Sunday.