The Nanaimo Buccaneers rang in the new year the right way, but the celebration didn’t last.
The Bucs played a pair of blowout games in their return to Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action, defeating the Kerry Park Islanders 7-4 on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre and then losing 7-1 to the Campbell River Storm the next night up Island.
In Thursday’s game, Dan Foglietta scored two goals for Nanaimo and Lee Orpen, Jordan Levesque, Lucas Franssen, David Osborne and Garrett Dunlop also found the back of the net. Mikko Keski-Pukkila, Thor Rosback and Jake Calverley each contributed a pair of assists and Ryan Waldhaus made 20 saves in the win. Shots were 40-24 in favour of Nanaimo.
On Friday, the Storm built up a 5-0 lead through two periods before Jake Calverley got the visitors on the board. Waldhaus again tended goal, making 29 saves as his team was outshot 36-30.
GAME ON … The Buccaneers face two division leaders this coming weekend. The Bucs (21-12-2-1) and Storm (22-9-2-2) play Thursday (Jan. 9) at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC, then Nanaimo travels Sunday to play the Victoria Cougars (26-7-1-1) in a matinee.