So far, so good. The Nanaimo Clippers played their first exhibition game of the B.C. Hockey League season on Tuesday Night, and came away with a 3-2 win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals at Lake Cowichan Arena.
Third-year veteran forward Brendan Taylor scored twice for Nanaimo, while rookie Sheldon Rempal continued his great camp with the other goal.
Incumbent starting goalie Jayson Argue picked up the win for the Clippers.
Steen Cooper and Mason Malokwich relied for the home team. The two teams play again tonight at Frank Crane Arena at 7 p.m. Clippers head coach Mike Vandekamp liked his first real look of the team in game action, but it is difficult to glean much from an exhibition game.
"It's pretty hard to assess anything when we have 32 guys and 12 new ones are going to play tomorrow," said Vandekamp. "It will probably be easier to answer that question after the showcase and the season starts."
The big note for Nanaimo is the potential for Taylor to get ontrack offensively.
The local product has shown a lot of potential in his first two years with the club, but that potential has not neccesarily transferred over to the scoresheet. In 106 games, the speedy forward has scored just 276 points (15 goals, 12 assists).
He scored the winner on Tuesday, at 9:28 of the third period.
"He's at the age where it's time for him to step up a little bit and he's going to have a bigger role with the team," said Vandekamp of Taylor. "He's not following or waiting behind others anymore. He's got responsibility and he's always been an offensively talented player and offence is something that will be expected from
him. Like any other offensive player, confidence is so important to the who picture." Rempal, meanwhile, has now scored in every game he has played, twice in the Rhodesie Cup and once in the rookie game.
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