The Nanaimo Buccaneers got a sample of the kind of hard-fought hockey they’ll need to play down the stretch.
The team lost one and won one last week in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre, falling 3-0 to the Campbell River Storm on Thursday and then beating the Peninsula Panthers 3-2 in overtime Saturday.
Thursday’s tilt with the North Division-leading Storm was intense, with fast-paced, physical hockey eventually unravelling into rough stuff and misconduct. The Storm were awarded 11 power plays, compared to five for the Bucs.
“Both teams don’t like each other, the coaching staffs don’t like each other, the players don’t like each other and it’s going to [make] for a great series come playoff time…” said Dan Lemmon, Buccaneers coach. “We’ve got to keep our emotions in check at some times and we’ll get better with that as we go forward.”
Two nights later, his team found a way to snap a four-game losing streak.
Trent Bell scored the overtime game winner against the Panthers, with Jake Calverley and Hobin Zinck also scoring. Nick Gomerich had three assists and Alex Orth made 23 saves for the win.
GAME ON … The Bucs host the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Thursday (Jan. 21) at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC.