The Cents look to head into the Christmas break on a winning note when the Island Division's Nanaimo Clippers come to visit this afternoon, but they'll have to surpess the excitement of the upcoming break and take care of business.
Nanaimo has looked excellent on the road on this swing. They went to Trail and beat them 7-3 on Friday night, then travelled to Penticton to spoil their Teddy Bear Toss Night and win 4-2. Brady Lynn had two goals against the Vees, as the Clippers overcame a one goal deficit in the first to upset one of the league's darlings.
The Cents also won against Trail earlier this week, but fell to the Vernon Vipers on Friday night after bus troubles led to a delay in puck drop. Despite getting a 2 goal lead in the first period, the Vipers slowly got back into the game for a 4-2 win. Henry Cleghorn and Colten Gerlib had the goals.
The Clippers are currently in a 3-way tie for top spot in the Island Division, while the Cents sit in 6th in the Interior. The Clippers and Cents are a lot closer when you break down the overall offense and defense. The Clippers hold the edge, but the teams seperated by only one goal offensively 109-108, and 2 goals defensively 101-103. The Clippers also own the top powerplay in the league at 23.1% while the Cents are in the middle of the pack at 9th with 19.4%. On the penalty kill, the Cents have the edge at 82.1% and 8th in the league, while Nanaimo is 13th with a 79.7% kill rate.
Henry Cleghorn keeps pace in the league's top 20 goal scorers with 33 points, but Nanaimo has a player in 13th, Jake Harris, with 36 points. The Clippers have 6 skaters with over 20 points, and 12 with over 10, with some of their big threats including: Tristan Crozier (29), Jamie Collins (26), and Parker Colley (25). The Cents now have 13 players with over 10 points, and Matthieu Gosselin and Zach Court are knocking on the door of 20 with 19.
In net the Clippers rely on Taz Burnman and Noah Featherstongaugh-Gowe. Burman is 9-7-0-1 with a 92.9 SV%, a 2.29 GAA, and one shutout. Gowe is 7-4 with a 90.4 SV% and a 3.26 GAA.
The Cents could deepen the storyline by playing former Clipper Austin Roden against his old club. Roden is 5-5-0-2 with a 92.9 SV% and a 2.98 GAA. Berger has started every game this week and is now 10-13-2-0, a 91.1 SV%, a 3.24 GAA and 2 shuthouts.
Both teams looking to head into the break with a win, and the Cents look to get back to .500.
Puck drop is 2pm, Pre Game at 1:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101.1FM or online at q101.ca