Bucs can't quite keep up win streak, fall 5-4

Nanaimo Buccaneers defenceman Coleman Doney, front left, checks Kerry Park Islanders forward Josh Poland during Thursday
Nanaimo Buccaneers defenceman Coleman Doney, front left, checks Kerry Park Islanders forward Josh Poland during Thursday's VIJHL game at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The Bucs battled back to give themselves a chance to extend their win streak, but it wasn’t to be.

The Nanaimo Buccaneers dropped a 5-4 decision to the Kerry Park Islanders on Thursday in VIJHL action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

The home team started in a big hole, falling behind 4-0 after 20 minutes. They eventually tied the game with five minutes left when Trent Bell whacked in a puck in a goalmouth scramble, but the visitors reclaimed the lead with two and a half minutes to go and held on.

“We showed a lot of heart in the third period to come back; we knew we could,” said Dan Lemmon, Bucs coach. “But four goals spotted to a team [by] not working hard, not doing our little things right … we thought we could outskill this team and that wasn’t the case.”

Bell scored two goals, Clayton Peace had a goal and an assist and Billy Walters was Nanaimo’s other scorer. The Bucs also rang pucks off the post and off the crossbar in the third period.

“You look at how many posts we hit, this could have been a different game,” Lemmon said.

John Hawthorne suffered the loss in goal as he made 23 saves in relief of Cedric LeSieur. Shots ended up 34-31 in favour of the host team.

Before Thursday’s setback, the Buccaneers had won six in a row, but the coach said the win streak hadn’t been much of a focus for his team.

“It’s just about playing good hockey and that goes game by game, period by period, shift by shift basis…” said Lemmon. “When we play our style and we play the way we want to play, we do very well.”

GAME ON … The Buccaneers visit the division-leading Campbell River Storm tonight (Jan. 27) at 7:30 p.m. at Rod Brind’Amour Arena. The Bucs then play a road game Feb. 1 against the Westshore Wolves before returning home Feb. 2 for a 7:15 game against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.

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