Buccaneers take ice for pre-season tilts

The Nanaimo Buccaneers junior B hockey club hosts an exhibition game against the Abbotsford Pilots on Sunday (Sept. 4) at the NIC.

The Buccaneers have a lot of building to do, so they’ll look to take advantage of every shift this pre-season.

Nanaimo’s junior B hockey club plays three pre-season games in four nights starting tonight (Sept. 1) on the road.

Dan Lemmon, Bucs coach, said camp has been really good. The veterans are not only talented players, but good kids, he said, and the new additions are young, fast and exciting to watch.

“You have your advantages with the older players – they’re bigger, stronger, more experienced guys, but the young guys you can really coach a little bit more and maybe see more improvements,” he said.

The coaching staff has started to introduce systems and understands it will take time.

“It’s still really early, where you’re going to see those mistakes happening quite often and breakdowns and those are just teaching points,” Lemmon said.

The pre-season will be short but eventful. The Bucs start against the always-strong Victoria Cougars, visit divisional rivals the Comox Valley Glacier Kings the next night, then host an out-of-league opponent, the Abbotsford Pilots, on Sunday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

“More than anything, these games are just to assess what we’ve got and make some final decisions on some bubble players,” said Lemmon. “And it’s also to build some camaraderie within the dressing room and let the kids get to know each other, get to play together and try to bond.”

GAME ON … The Bucs and Pilots play Sunday at 1 p.m. at the NIC.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com