Sports

Buccaneers in high spirits for first game of season

The Nanaimo Buccaneers haven’t battled the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on the ice, but they know they’ll face off against an experienced roster of players when the two teams meet.

The teams meet at the Nanaimo Ice Centre for their first game of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League North Island Division’s regular season Thursday (Sept. 6) starting at 7:30 p.m.

The Buccaneers are a young team and many haven’t played at the junior B level before. The Glacier Kings have experience, strength and size on their side, said Buccaneer coach Brad Knight. He said about 60 per cent of the Glacier Kings players are returning.

During exhibition play on the long weekend the Buccaneers lost 4-0 to the Oceanside Generals on Friday and then fought an evenly matched 2-2 battle against the Victoria Cougars Sunday afternoon. The Glacier Kings lost 2-1 to Campbell River Saturday and then had a close overtime 7-6 loss to Campbell River Sunday during exhibition play.

Knight had the Buccaneer players practised drills this week to prepare for tonight’s game.  He said the team is starting to establish lines and players worked on developing team skills, defensive and offensive play and building team cohesion on the ice.

“Their spirits are good,” said Knight about the player’s attitude going into the regular season. “The kids are excited and want to get off to a good start.”

GAME ON … The teams face off tonight (Sept. 6) during the season opener at the NIC at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and $5 for kids, six to 12 years old. Children five years old and younger get in free if accompanied by an adult. For more information please go http://buccaneers.vijhl.com.

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