The Nanaimo Buccaneers have swept into the next round of the VIJHL playoffs.
The Bucs defeated the Oceanside Generals 3-2 on Monday night in Parksville to win the best-of-seven series, four games to none.
Curtis Toneff, Bucs coach, said he thinks Game 4 was his team’s best game of the series.
“Up and down the lineup, there’s not one guy that we could say had a poor effort or a poor game, and this time of year, that’s how you want it to be…” Toneff said. “We seemed to be the team putting the most pressure on and goaltending was great and I think our D got a lot better as the series went on.”
GAME 1: Buccaneers score late to beat Generals in Game 1
GAME 2: Buccaneers double up Generals to win Game 2
GAME 3: Buccaneers beat Generals to take stranglehold on series
Nanaimo got goals from Trey Watson, Booker Chacalias and Mathieu Jallabert. Derek Krall was the winning goalie and a game star as shots ended up 44-32 in favour of the Buccaneers.
Brady Kay and Braeden Young scored for Oceanside, with Jacob Sweet suffering the loss in the crease.
Generals coach Jesse Hammill said his team played as well as he expected them to on Monday night.
“They battled, we came back,” said Hammill. “They don’t quit. That’s probably the closest four-game series we’ve had in a long, long time. It was only four games but I think we took Nanaimo to the brink of what they had … I am super happy with the efforts these kids have given and we came up short.”
Even though Nanaimo won in four straight, every game was decided by a one- or two-goal margin, so Toneff said his team has gotten used to playing in a battle-type atmosphere.
“The Generals … we knew they were going to bring it every night,” he said. “It was a good series for us and a good test to play in those close games and now we’re used to doing that moving forward.”
The Bucs’ likeliest second-round opponents are the Saanich Braves, who lead their series three games to one. Scheduling hasn’t been determined, but the next round might not start until March 6.