The Nanaimo Buccaneers raised their game in crunch time and were able to beat a first-place hockey team.
The Bucs defeated the Campbell River Storm in double overtime by a 2-1 score on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Chad Bell scored the game winning goal, firing home a rebound while crashing the crease with just 30 seconds left in double OT.
“It’s definitely a great win against a team like Campbell River,” Bell said. “They’re a good team and they bring their A game whenever they’re in our rink.”
The Storm opened the scoring midway through the first period, but halfway through the game the rink tilted and the Bucs brought waves of pressure.
“We all gave 100 per cent. We stuck to the game plan, we ran our line matches that we wanted…” said Dan Lemmon, Buccaneers coach. “Everyone played their heart out and that’s how you get two points.”
He said his team’s willingness to finish checks was effective against the Storm.
“They’ve shown signs, when the going gets tough and it gets physical, they don’t like being first on pucks and that’s something that our team will do and it’s the reason we won today,” Lemmon said. “We’re not a team that’s going to be making tic-tac-toe passes through the neutral zone, we’re a team that’s going to be chipping pucks and finishing checks and that’s when we succeed and that’s what we’ll keep doing.”
Trent Bell scored midway through the third and although the Bucs had the better chances from there, the Storm did get some good shots and Nanaimo goalie Alex Orth stacked the pads to make a huge save on a Storm breakaway in overtime. Orth finished with 31 saves. Jordan Levesque assisted on both Nanaimo goals.
GAME ON … The Bucs play the Saanich Braves on the road Friday (Oct. 9). Next home action is Oct. 15 when the Comox Valley Glacier Kings come to the NIC for a 7:15 p.m. faceoff.