A game-winning goal early in overtime tied up the Nanaimo Buccaneers’ first-round playoff series.
The Bucs got a goal a minute and a half into OT from forward Caleb Garet as Nanaimo got past the Campbell River Storm 2-1 on Sunday in Game 4 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League first-round series is now tied, two games apiece.
“The boys came out ready to play and played with some urgency,” said Clayton Robinson, Buccaneers coach. “It’s a do-or-die game for us, right? We’ve got to win the games at home. So to tie it up 2-2 is huge.”
On the winning goal, Buccaneers forward Noah Goyer was able to get a pass all the way across the zone to Garet, who was open in the faceoff circle. Earlier, Connor Casparie opened the scoring for the Bucs and Cody Savey responded for the Storm.
Austin Dendl made 38 saves for the win and Aaron de Kok stopped 26 shots at the other end.
Garet said with the series now tied, the Bucs need to keep doing what’s working and keep creating chances.
“It definitely will get tougher, but I know the boys will keep playing like we have been playing and it will keep going well,” he said.
Robinson said the Bucs want to keep games low-scoring and try to squeeze out 1-0, 2-1 or 3-2 wins.
“We don’t score a lot of goals, so we’ve got to play good defence and have great goaltending,” the coach said.
GAME ON … Game 5 will be Tuesday, March 3, at Campbell River’s Rod Brind’Amour Arena at 7:30 p.m. and Game 6 will be back at the NIC on Thursday, March 5, at 7:15 p.m.