Nanaimo Buccaneers players Billy Walters

Nanaimo Buccaneers players Billy Walters

Buccaneers score a win against first-place Storm

The Nanaimo Buccaneers defeated the Campbell River Storm by a 5-3 score in VIJHL action Thursday night at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

The Bucs were able to keep up their winning ways, even against the division’s first-place team.

The Nanaimo Buccaneers defeated the Campbell River Storm by a 5-3 score in VIJHL action Thursday night at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The Bucs have now won five of their six games this month.

“We’re riding pretty hot right now,” said Dan Lemmon, Buccaneers coach.

Thursday’s contest had a few momentum shifts. Nanaimo played a strong opening period and led 2-1 at intermission, but spent most of the second period in its own end and fell behind. A turning point came late in the frame when Trent Bell was sprung on a breakaway stepping out of the penalty box and scored his second of the game. The very next shift, he completed the hat trick to give his team the lead for good.

“Once you score, you kind of get going a little bit and then anything can happen,” Bell said. “I think it got the team going.”

He said the Buccaneers didn’t sit on their lead in the third period and made sure they stayed on the forecheck, trying to play to win.

“If you look at the third period that we played, that might be our best period of hockey that we’ve played all season,” said Lemmon. “We were taking away time and space all over the ice, being physical … chipping and chasing, not trying to beat guys one-on-one and letting [goalie John Hawthorne] see the puck when they did get the opportunities.”

He said the goaltending was tremendous all the way through, especially in the second period when Hawthorne made 18 of his 35 saves on the night.

The Buccaneers got their other goals Thursday from Cam Nickerson and Chad Bell. Nanaimo was 3-for-3 on the power play while Campbell River was 0-for-5.

Trent Bell said it means a lot to his team to be able to beat a rival club.

“We’ve been playing really good hockey lately and we’re not scared of them,” he said. “We know we’re right there and we have a lot of confidence right now in the way we’re playing. So we’ve just got to keep it rolling.”

GAME ON … The Bucs play on the road Thursday (Nov. 24) against the Victoria Cougars, then host a rematch against the Cougs on Nov. 26 at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com