The Nanaimo Clippers responded, won Game 2 against the Powell River Kings and will now head on the road with the series all tied up.
The Clips beat the Kings 4-3 on Saturday night at Frank Crane Arena. Nanaimo was down 1-0 after one period, but took a 2-1 lead after two and then, when the Kings tied things up midway through the third, the Shipmen were able to score a couple more and hold on.
“I thought in the second period it looked like we finally realized we’re in the playoffs and it was like a switch went off and you saw the emotions … get involved,” said Darren Naylor, Clippers coach.
Parker Colley, who scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, said his team played hard-working hockey and really got back to a lot of things that had been effective for the Clippers toward the end of the regular season.
“Everybody was playing good and I think we had our forecheck going and all four lines going and I think that’s what kind of gave us some success,” he said. “We wanted to get some bodies on their D men, make them turn the puck over, get our cycle game going and also get our power play going, so that was huge for us.”
David Melaragni, Jamie Collins and Tristan Crozier were Nanaimo’s other scorers and goalie Taz Burman made 27 saves as shots were 30-27 for the visitors.
The Kings got two goals from Neal Samanski and one from Ben Berard and Derek Krall suffered the loss in net.
GAME 1: Clippers fall to Kings in first game of playoffs
The series now moves to Powell River’s Hap Parker Arena for Game 3.
“Now the pressure falls back on them, right? And we can just go in there and play road games and we play pretty good on the road,” Naylor said.
Colley said coming off a win and scoring some goals will carry over as the series moves to Powell River.
“We’ll definitely have some more confidence going into the next couple games here and we’ve had success in Powell River in the past, so I think we’ve got to go into their barn knowing we’re going to win the game,” he said.
GAME ON … Game 3 and 4 will be Monday, March 5, and Tuesday. Game 5 will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. For ticket information, visit www.nanaimoclippers.com or call 250-751-0593.