The Nanaimo Buccaneers turned a close game into a not-so-close game.
The Bucs defeated the Kerry Park Islanders by a 6-1 score in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
The game was still 2-1 midway through the third period before the home team scored four times the rest of the way to ease to victory.
Brendan Rogers scored two goals, Ben Coghlan had a goal and two assists and Dylan Tonks, Dylan Devers and Erik Hanus were other scorers. Austin Dendl made 19 saves as shots finished up 30-20 in favour of the home team.
Rogers said his team picked it up in the third.
“I thought our forecheck got a lot better and we were backchecking harder to turn pucks over,” he said. “We just started shooting at the net and pucks started going in.”
He said the Buccaneers, already a close group in the locker room, are learning how to be effective together out on the ice.
“Every game we’re getting better,” Rogers said. “Lines are switching and we’re finding chemistry.”
The win bumped the Bucs up above .500 and though it’s barely two weeks into the season, the team knows the points will prove important later on.
“Hopefully we can win as many games as we can and work our hardest,” Rogers said.
GAME ON … The Bucs face the Campbell River Storm on Friday, Sept. 13, on the road. Next home action is Thursday, Sept. 19, when the Comox Valley Glacier Kings visit the NIC for a 7:15 p.m. faceoff.