Sports

Bucs create some breathing room

Nanaimo Buccaneers forward Will McNamara, middle, goes in on a partial breakaway on Comox Valley Glacier Kings goaltender Michael Hails during Thursday’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Nanaimo Buccaneers forward Will McNamara, middle, goes in on a partial breakaway on Comox Valley Glacier Kings goaltender Michael Hails during Thursday’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The Nanaimo Buccaneers distanced themselves from the opposition with another big win this week.

The city’s first-placed Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team shut out the second-placed Comox Valley Glacier Kings 2-0 on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

Bucs goaltender Cam Large gave his team a chance to win by holding the Glacier Kings at bay, and early in the third period Lynden Eddy got the puck to the blue paint and Beau Blanaru went hard to the net and got his team on the board.

“Our message was to get pucks to the net and collaps on the net and we did that and that’s how we got our first goal,” said Glen Smith, assistant coach.

He said his team matched lines with the opponents, a tactic that seemed to work. Large said his teammates tried to win the little battles, since there wasn’t a lot of room for them to skate with the puck.

He said the Bucs felt confident going into the third period because they’ve been good all season long in third periods.

“It comes down to the urgency,” Large said. “Beating the buzzer, the clock’s ticking; we’re always pushing even harder those last 20 minutes.”

With 45 seconds left, Jake Calverley scored an empty netter almost from his own goal line.

“If that hadn’t have gone in I’d be having a talk with him,” joked Smith. “But it went in, so what can you say?”

Large’s shutout came in a game in which his team was outshot 36-24.

GAME ON … The Buccaneers (22-14-3) and the Glacier Kings (17-18-2) play a rematch Saturday (Jan. 19) up Island. The next home game for the Bucs is Thursday (Jan. 24) when they take on the Campbell River Storm at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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