Nanaimo Buccaneers player Billy Walters

Nanaimo Buccaneers player Billy Walters

Bucs among junior B’s best at break

The Nanaimo Buccaneers have been so successful in their own league, that they’re beginning to wonder how they stack up in any league.

The Nanaimo Buccaneers have been so successful of late in their own league, that they’re beginning to wonder how they stack up in any league.

The Bucs couldn’t help but notice this month when they made a list of B.C.’s best junior B hockey teams.

“We’ve cracked the top 20 in B.C. in win percentage [and] we’re focusing on being a top-10 team come playoff time,” said Dan Lemmon, Buccaneers coach and general manager. “So we kind of have our goals set a little bit higher.”

The Buccaneers lost their last game of December, falling 4-2 to the Saanich Braves – another top-20 club – on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Even factoring in that loss, the Bucs have won 14 of their last 18.

It’s been fun for the Buccaneers to come to the rink, Lemmon said.

“This is a close group, one of the closest groups I’ve ever been able to have the pleasure of coaching. Everyone’s working hard,” he said. “There’s no guys that are doing their own thing – everyone’s buying into a system and we’re seeing the result. So we’ve just got to stay on that; we’ve got to make sure that guys are hungry to play every single night.”

In Thursday’s setback, Jacob Carr and Chad Bell scored for the Buccaneers and John Hawthorne suffered the loss in goal as the home team outshot the visitors 33-28.

GAME ON … The Buccaneers will play an alumni game on Thursday (Dec. 29) at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC. League play resumes Jan. 5, when the Comox Valley Glacier Kings visit the NIC.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com