The Nanaimo Buccaneers were prepared for puck drop to start the playoffs, and that propelled them to a Game 1 win.
The Bucs beat the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 4-2 on Tuesday night at the Nanaimo Ice Centre, building a 3-0 first-period lead and then hanging on.
“We got off to a hot start there,” said Nick Gomerich, Bucs alternate captain. “We had lots of energy coming out of the gate.”
Nanaimo scored three times in a two-and-a-half-minute span in the first, with Gomerich, Nolan Richardson and Hobin Zinck tallying.
There was no further scoring until midway through the third, when Comox’s Sheldon Brett got his team on the board, and then Ronnie Wilkie’s marker with four minutes left made things interesting. But a long-range empty-net goal by Nanaimo’s Jake Calverley sealed the victory for the home team.
“Today I thought we gained some confidence from being able to hold them off,” said Dan Lemmon, Bucs coach. “We did a lot of the right things, we were disciplined.”
Alex Orth was the winning goalie with 21 saves and Marcus Gloss stopped 35 shots for Comox.
Gomerich said winning Game 1 is huge and said players would enjoy the moment, then put it behind them and start thinking about Game 2.
“Things aren’t going to get easier going forward, it’s going to get tougher,” Lemmon said.
GAME ON … The Bucs and Glacier Kings face off in Game 2 on Thursday (Feb. 25) at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC.