Comox comes back to take Game 1
The Nanaimo Buccaneers never saw what hit them, but when the ice had cleared, they had lost Game 1.
The Bucs fell 2-1 to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Tuesday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff action.
With a minute left in the third period, Comox's Andrew White fired a puck past Nanaimo goalie Cam Large and the visitors celebrated the goal while the home team wondered if the puck actually went in the net.
"We had the lead a long way through…" said Glen Smith, Bucs assistant coach. "It was disappointing not to at least go into overtime."
Noah Russi opened the scoring for the Buccaneers on a power play midway through the second period after getting open at the side of the net.
Large made a number of quality saves to protect the margin going into the third, but with seven minutes left Comox's Rylan Ball tied the game on a wrister. Nanaimo's Lee Orpen hit the post on a partial breakaway with five minutes left, so the game remained 1-1 until Comox's late marker.
Shots ended up 36-25 in favour of the Yetis with Michael Hails earning the win in goal. Smith said the Buccaneers will need to try to create more offence moving forward.
"We need to get more pucks to the net, we need to get in front of the net with more traffic," he said.
He said the Glacier Kings are a tough team and an experienced team, and said the Bucs know they're in for a battle.
"The boys, they're disappointed but they know it's going to be a long, tough series," Smith said.
GAME ON … Game 2 of the VIJHL's North Island Division final will be played Thursday (March 7) at 7:15 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.