Cleve Dheensaw / Times Colonist
NOVEMBER 23, 2017 10:36 PM
Nanaimo (13-9-4) has earned at least a point in nine consecutive B.C. Hockey League games during a 6-0-3 run in which it has tied Powell River atop the Island Division with 30 points, although the Kings retain three games in hand.
“Nanaimo is really hot and [Clippers head coach] Mike Vandekamp does a good job,” said Victoria Grizzlies head coach Craig Didmon.
Much of the Clippers’ recent success can be attributed to crease play, especially that of Taz Burman, a 20-year-old former four-season WHLer, who is 7-4-1 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .937 save percentage since signing with Nanaimo last month.
The Grizzlies are 13-9-3 and a point behind the surging Clippers in the Island Division, but with a game in hand, making for an intriguing meeting tonight between Victoria and Nanaimo at The Q Centre.
The Grizzlies are 2-1 against the Clippers this season.
Both teams will also get a healthy helping of Bulldogs on the weekend with the Clippers playing Alberni Valley (8-12-6) Saturday night at Frank Crane Arena and the Grizzlies hosting the Bulldogs in a Sunday matinee at The Q Centre.
“These are important four points for us,” said Didmon.
“We are gaining consistency and I like what I see in practice. Our players are acquiring the habits they need. That will hopefully help separate ourselves in our division.”
The Victoria-Nanaimo game tonight will feature four players invited to the Team Canada West selection camp Dec. 2-5 in Calgary for the 2017 World Junior A Challenge in mid-December in Truro, Nova Scotia. They are forwards Alex Newhook and Jamie Rome, and goaltender Zack Rose, of the Grizzlies, and blue-liner Maxwell Crozier of the Clippers.
The four are among the 28 players from the BCHL invited to the camp. Crozier, projected by Central Scouting for the latter rounds of the 2018 NHL draft, is committed to Providence of the NCAA. Rome, headed to Western Michigan of the NCAA next season, leads the Grizzlies in scoring with 23 points. Newhook, committed to Boston College and potentially a first-rounder for the 2019 NHL draft, is next with 22 points. Rookie goaltender Rose has nine wins and a goals-against average of 3.20.
“That’s great exposure and good for our organization, for sure, and we hope all three of our players headed to the selection camp [Rome, Newhook, Rose] make the Western Canada team for the worlds,” said Didmon.
GRIZZLIES NEXT HOME GAME NOV.24 – Movember Hockey Heroes night
Victoria Grizzlies to take on the the Nanaimo Clippers for their Movember Hockey Heroes night at 7pm at the Q Centre Arena.
Grizzlies will be wearing their third jerseys sponsored by Island Savings in honour of Movember. The game worn jerseys will be available for bidding via silent auction during the game
SHOOT TO WIN FOR MEN’S HEALTH
The Grizzlies are excited to announce that two lucky fans are going to have a chance to shoot to win $10,000 during the second period
HOW TO ENTER
Up until the end of the 2nd period on Friday, November 24th you can donate to help support men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and enter your name in the Shoot to Win for Men’s Health Ballot box. Two names will be drawn at random. See for complete rules: http://www.victoriagrizzlies.com/shoot-to-win-10000
GAME TICKETS: https://tickets.victoriagrizzlies.com or 250-385-1555