Buccaneers win a wild one

Campbell River Storm player Tyson Fair, left, chases Nanaimo Buccaneers opponent Quentin McShane during Thursday
Campbell River Storm player Tyson Fair, left, chases Nanaimo Buccaneers opponent Quentin McShane during Thursday's Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The game itself was a bit of a shootout, and then it got decided by a shootout.

The Nanaimo Buccaneers outscored the Campbell River Storm and won 6-5 on Thursday night in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Each team took a turn holding a two-goal lead in the third period, but no lead was safe on the night.

Beau Blanaru's hard shot from the slot won the shootout after Will McNamara scored on a deke and goalie Cam Large stopped both Storm shooters he faced.

"Our kids have come from behind a lot," said Brad Knight, coach of the Buccaneers. "It's nice to know we feel that comfortable because a lot of teams don't have that mentality."

The Storm got a goal to go up 3-1 early in the third period, but the Bucs took over at that point, scoring four goals in a five-and-a-half-minute span.

"I thought we controlled the game the whole way through – I don't think the score should have been the way it was in the third period," said Noah Russi, who had a goal and two assists for Nanaimo. "But we battled back, got pucks to the net and just worked hard."

Dan Foglietta started the comeback by finishing off a three-way passing play on a rush. Lee Orpen tipped in a point shot to tie it, Johnathan Speer banked one in from behind the net and then McNamara fired one in after a extended pressure in the Storm zone.

Nanaimo's 5-3 lead didn't last, as Campbell River tied it up late, but neither the visitors nor the home team had much momentum in the four-on-four overtime.

Shots ended up 47-30 in favour of Nanaimo. Scott Salberg scored four goals for Campbell River.

GAME ON … The Bucs (23-15-3) play two more games this weekend, both on the road. Nanaimo visits the Peninsula Panthers (21-16-3) on Friday (Jan. 25) and then takes on the first-placed Victoria Cougars (37-1-2) on Sunday. Next home action for the Buccaneers is Thursday (Jan. 31) when they face the Saanich Braves (26-11-3) in a 7:15 p.m. faceoff at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

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