Nanaimo Buccaneers players including Clayton Peace, left, Mathieu Jallabert and Brandon Armstrong clear the puck away from their crease in the last minute of a 3-2 win against the Campbell River Storm on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

VIDEO: Bucs beat Storm in matchup of league’s best teams

The Nanaimo Buccaneers defeated the Campbell River Storm by a 3-2 score in VIJHL action Thursday

The Buccaneers came up big in the third period and beat the Storm in a battle of the league’s best teams.

Nanaimo’s junior B hockey team won 3-2 against Campbell River on Thursday night in VIJHL action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

The visitors led 1-0 going into the third, but the Buccaneers scored three times in a five-and-a-half minute span to get an edge.

“We knew we just had more to give,” said Derek Krall, Bucs goalie, the game’s first star. “We thought the first two periods we gave a good effort, but the bounces weren’t really going our way, but we really knew in the third we really had to bear down and get it done, so that’s what we did.”

    Nanaimo coach Curtis Toneff said he liked the way his team capitalized after it didn’t get the bounces earlier in the night.

    “You only get a certain amount of looks in a game, and when we had the looks, we just went and that shows that we’re building our instincts, I think, through our practice habits,” Toneff said.

    Clayton Peace, Cam Nickerson and then Billy Walters, on a breakaway, were Nanaimo’s scorers and Krall made 38 saves as shots were 40-30 in favour of the visitors.

    “I was seeing the puck well all night,” Krall said. “[My teammates] were coming up big with blocks when they needed to, chipping it off the glass and out, just doing the simple things that really worked out in the end for us.”

    The victory pulled the Buccaneers to within one point of the Storm, who lead the Vancouver Island Junior League standings.

    GAME ON … The Bucs visit the Kerry Park Islanders on Saturday, Dec. 9. Next home action is Dec. 14, when the Bucs play host to the Westshore Wolves at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC.

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