Sports

Buccaneers skate toward first faceoff

The Nanaimo Buccaneers began to set a pace in the pre-season, and now they start skating for real.

The city’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team holds its season opener Thursday (Sept. 4) at the Nanaimo Ice Centre against the Oceanside Generals.

The Bucs are encouraged by their exhibition games, which saw them go 3-0, outscoring divisional foes 15-5.

New Buccaneers coach Derek Bachynski said it’s tough to judge his team based on pre-season results, but he said players seem to be buying in and paying attention to detail.

“We had everyone going and working hard,” the coach said. “Overall, a good work ethic and we competed every game, so that’s why we had the results that we got.”

The Bucs have shown themselves to be a strong skating team this fall. It should be an exciting style of play for fans, said Bachynski, and it also should lead to success.

“We’re a fast team and we want to play fast,” he said. “If we’re not moving our feet, if we’re not playing fast then we’re not going to be effective.”

Two of Nanaimo’s pre-season wins came against Parksville, but Bachynski said his guys have to be ready to play a Generals team that will have its full roster intact on Thursday.

“It’s the start of the season, everyone’s going to want to start off strong,” Bachynski said.

GAME ON … The Buccaneers and Generals face off Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC. Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for children 6-12. For season ticket information, please visit buccaneers.vijhl.com.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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