Trailing the game with five minutes to go, the Bucs weren’t about to back down.
The Nanaimo Buccaneers came back to beat the Oceanside Generals 2-1 on Thursday night in VIJHL action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
The game was 0-0 almost all the way through until the visitors scored a power play goal late in the third. Just a few shifts later, the Bucs responded, with Noah Kelly sliding home a tying goal. Nanaimo got a four-minute power play that lasted into overtime and made it count, with Seamus O’Toole getting open to deke the goalie for the game-winning OT goal.
Coach Curtis Toneff didn’t like his team’s execution for a lot of the night, but saw perseverance from his group.
“We stuck with the process and that’s all we asked,” he said. “It was one of those nights, and we’ll take the positives tonight.”
O’Toole said his team was able to finish strongly.
“During the first and second periods we were getting away from our game, but we battled back…” he said. “I wouldn’t say we were all happy with the way we played, but you can’t be upset with a win.”
Blake Wood earned the win in goal, making 23 saves. The win put Nanaimo four points up again on second place in the division as the Bucs look to secure their first-ever VIJHL regular-season title.
“Home ice is always important…” O’Toole said. ‘We’re going to be showing up to play every game like it’s playoffs.”
GAME ON … The Bucs visit the Peninsula Panthers on Friday, Feb. 2. Next home action is Feb. 8, when the second-place Campbell River Storm visit the NIC for a 7:15 p.m. faceoff in what shapes up as the biggest game of the regular season.