Nanaimo Buccaneers forward Billy Walters looks to make a play behind the Westshore Wolves net during Thursday's VIJHL game at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

Nanaimo Buccaneers forward Billy Walters looks to make a play behind the Westshore Wolves net during Thursday's VIJHL game at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

Bucs beat Wolves for third-straight win

The Nanaimo Buccaneers defeated the Westshore Wolves 5-3 on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

The Nanaimo Buccaneers are doing what they need to do so far in December.

The city’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team defeated the Westshore Wolves 5-3 on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

“We played all right,” said Trent Bell, who scored a hat trick. “I didn’t think it was our best game, but we found a way to win, that’s all that matters.”

Coach Dan Lemmon said discipline was a problem, but he praised his team’s penalty kill – the Wolves ended up 2-for-11 with the man advantage – and said his players came through with timely saves and timely goals.

“I thought we did just enough to win, but I would have liked to have seen a more consistent effort throughout the whole game,” Lemmon said.

Aside from Bell’s big game, other contributors were Jake Calverley, who scored a goal and had two assists, and Mitch Popp, who also tallied. Alex Orth made 22 saves as his team was outshot 25-20.

With three straight wins to start December, the Bucs are turning things around from the month before, when they went winless.

“In November we couldn’t really seem to bury our chances, but I thought tonight we did a good job to bear down and put the puck in the net when we had chances,” Bell said.

A tougher test looms Saturday (Dec. 12), as Nanaimo travels to take on the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Lemmon said the opponent is a grinding, hard-working team.

“It’s going to be a dirty road game,” the coach said. “It’s about taking care of our own end first and playing simple through the neutral zone.”

GAME ON … The Buccaneers have two more home games before the holiday break, Thursday (Dec. 17) at 7:15 p.m. against the Oceanside Generals and then Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. against the Peninsula Panthers.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com