Buccaneers try for series stranglehold

The Nanaimo Buccaneers have taken the edge in their playoff series, and will now try to press their advantage.

The Nanaimo Buccaneers have taken the edge in their playoff series, and will now try to press their advantage.

The city’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team defeated the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 6-5 on Saturday up Island to take a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven series.

After a pair of 2-1 games to start the series, it took a barnburner to settle Game 3.

Nanaimo took a 3-2 first period lead, Comox tied it in the second and then Nanaimo surged back ahead with two early goals in the third period. Comox drew within one midway through the third, but couldn’t get the equalizer. The Bucs got an empty netter before the Yetis tallied with one second left in the game.

“We need a better effort from everybody on the team,” said Bill Rotheisler, coach of the Glacier Kings. “It’s not time to start breaking apart what we’ve built and worked on to get us to this point.  We have to regroup … and do the little things that made us the team we are.”

Riel Gibson led Nanaimo with two goals and an assist. Other Bucs goals were scored by Will McNamara, Beau Blanaru, Dan Foglietta and Garrett Dunlop. Cam Large made 30 stops for the win.

GAME ON … Game 4 is tonight (March 12) at the Comox Valley Sports Centre. Game 5 is set for Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

-with files from the Comox Valley Record