NANAIMO — The Nanaimo Clippers play their first home preseason game on Wednesday.
Nanaimo is 0-2 to start exhibition play after falling 4-3 in Cowichan Valley on Saturday and 6-3 against Alberni Valley Tuesday night.
This week Coach Mike Vandekamp began with 30 players, and he'll need to get to 22 by the time the season opens on September 9th against the Bulldogs.
The Clippers bench boss is really happy with his new group of forwards.
"Up front is probably where we seem to have the most depth. There's lots of players here that can play. It's really going to be difficult to make those final decisions that's for sure.
We're trying to some chemistry within the lineup really quickly here too to give guys the best opportunity to succeed here this week.
We are young a little bit in comparison to where we've been in the past, but at the same time we like our speed and skill and the tenacity of our group," said Vandekamp.
In the first two games second year forward Matt Kowalski is the only player with multiple goals.
There is no big name goalie in Nanaimo this season, but of the three in camp former Penticton Vees and Vernon Vipers backup Brendan Barry is the most high profile. Austen Roden was an affiliate with the Clippers last season and the newcomer to the crease is Quebec native Cedric Lesieur.
Vandekamp says this will be a critical week for all three.
"It's been a good battle so far." Everybody's had really good moments, they've also had a couple of shaky moments but certainly more to the good.
I think it's consistency now this week that we're going to be looking for in practice and in the games. The work ethic is there for sure the attitudes are there. All three of them are great kids, they all want to be here and they're working hard."
After the home and home series with Alberni Valley the Clippers wrap up the preseason with a pair of games against Victoria.
They are at home September 2nd at 7pm at Frank Crane Arena and then the exhibition season ends September 3rd at 6:30pm at the Sooke Arena.
The BCHL season opens September 9th when the Clippers host the Bulldogs.
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