The Nanaimo Buccaneers grabbed the early edge in their playoff series.
The city’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team defeated the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 5-2 on Tuesday night up Island in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
“We’re on a high right now, but it’s a long series for a reason,” said Derek Bachynski, coach of the Buccaneers. “We’ve got to stay focused.”
Nanaimo had the game in hand all night, leading 2-0 after one period and 4-0 after two. Five different Bucs tallied – Garrick Heathcote, Quinlan Moore, Jordan Levesque, Trent Bell and Jared Fedosoff. Jakob Severson made 24 saves for the win as shots were 32-26 in favour of the visitors.
Bachynski said he thought the Buccaneers were the harder-working team in Game 1.
“In playoffs you need that extra effort in battles and extra effort in getting to the net and especially on the backcheck and I saw a lot of those things happening last night,” the coach said.
Nanaimo was able to chase Comox’s starting goalie in the second period. Bachynski said the Buccaneers’ defensive play led to turnovers and scoring chances, and said the Bucs also created traffic and capitalized on opportunities.
The series will intensify as it goes along, the coach predicted. He said the Glacier Kings will be harder to play against in Game 2.
“They’re going to be coming out flying and obviously they’re not going to be happy about the outcome of [Game 1],” he said.
GAME ON … Game 2 of the series goes Thursday (Feb. 19) at 7:15 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Game 3 will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Comox Valley Sports Centre and Game 4 is Monday at 7 p.m. at the NIC.