When the Nanaimo Buccaneers raise their game, they’re tough to beat. The Bucs flexed their muscle in the third period of Saturday’s game against the Oceanside Generals and came away with a 6-4 victory in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action.
After beating the Campbell River Storm 4-1 on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre, the Buccaneers travelled up Island to take on the Gens at a packed Oceanside Place. Parksville got up 3-2 going into the third period, but Nanaimo controlled the final frame.
“All the boys, we kind of realized that we’ve got to play with way more intensity and really want it,” said Nick White, who had a goal and two assists.
Brad Knight, the team’s coach, tried some different line combinations as the game went on and leaned on his top players in the third. Garrett Dunlop scored twice in the third to complete a hat trick.
“These are the [games] we don’t want to let them get away from us. We thought we were close,” Knight said. “We kind of want to coach to win a lot more this year than coach to develop.”
White said it was the Bucs’ all-around game that allowed it to have success.
“We’ve got a ton of skill but we’ve got a lot of hard work and grit, too, which is really crucial so we can get those open areas and get those shots,” he said.
Nolan Richardson and Lee Orpen were the other Buccaneers scorers on Saturday and Alex Mastrodonato made 28 saves for the win. Two nights earlier, Derian Hamilton, Devyn Grant, Dan Foglietta and Riel Gibson were the goal scorers and Ryan Waldhaus made 26 saves for the victory.
Next action for the Buccaneers is a rematch with the Generals on Thursday (Sept. 12) at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC.
“Our games get pretty intense, so we’ve got to make sure when we play these guys and the rest of the North Division, that we come out with our grit and play hard,” White said.