It did not take long for the Nanaimo Clippers to avenge their B.C. Hockey League playoff loss last season.
They rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4-2 on Friday night in Port Alberni.
The Clippers (3-0-0-0) got goals from Korey Morgan, Brendan Taylor, Ryan Forbes and Devin Brosseau, while Liam McLeod made 39 stops in his Clippers debut. Jared Wilson and Mak Barden scored for Alberni Valley (0-2-0-0), and Brad Rebagliati made 37 saves in the Bulldogs' home opener.
Clippers head coach Mike Vandekamp was impressed with the way his team did not get down after two tough goals.
"We showed lot of resiliency," said head coach and general manager Mike Vandekamp. "I thought we dug deep from (being two goals down) and played well the rest of the way."
The Bulldogs took the lead on a two-man power play at 17:47 of the first period with Taylor and Josh McArdle in the box.
Alberni then made it 2-0 at 0:55 of the second period, banking a shot in off a Nanaimo defender.
But Brosseau got the ship turned around for the Clippers 40 seconds later, finally solving Rebagliati. Taylor then tied it at 18:54 to give Nanaimo the momentum heading into the second intermission.
Morgan scored on the power play at 4:47 of the third period and then Forbes gave the Clippers some breathing room with a short-handed marker at 8:11.
"He got a break off a hard play in the D zone and did a nice job at the blue-line to get it by and it was a nice shot off the wing," said Vandekamp. "It's his second goal of the year already, it's a good start for the young fellow and he's going to be a big part of our team in the future."
McLeod looked sharp in his first game for the Clippers, especially early in the final frame where they were outshot 13-4. "He was solid in there and the guys showed confidence in him which was good to see for a young goaltender," said Vandekamp. "He really battled in there."
Up next for the Clippers is their home opener next Friday against the Victoria Grizzlies at 7 p.m.
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