The Nanaimo Buccaneers treated Game 2 like they needed to win, and they did win, in a squeaker.
The Bucs defeated the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 2-1 on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre to even the best-of-seven Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League series at one game apiece.
“We just did what we had to do,” said Will McNamara, who scored both Buccaneers goals. “We took the body, really kept them to the outside of the ice and just put everything on net. We just did the simple things and it paid off.”
McNamara’s first goal came less than two minutes into the game on a power play, and his second goal was also a PP marker as he checked a Kings defender and the puck bounced into the Comox net.
In the third period things got dicey as the Glacier Kings controlled the play at the Bucs’ end of the ice and Comox’s Michael Pond made it 2-1 with four minutes to go. Nanaimo players blocked shots, dove to try to win puck battles, and did what it took to keep their lead.
Goaltender Cam Large made 36 saves for the win as his team was outshot 37-19.
“Tonight was significant because we found a way to win,” said Brad Knight, the team’s coach. “Was it pretty? No. Was it the way you want to win every hockey game? No. But when you’re in the playoffs, to find ways to win is sometimes really important.”
GAME ON … Game 3 will be played Saturday (March 9) at 7:30 p.m. at the Comox Valley Sports Centre and Game 4 will be Tuesday at 7:45 in Comox. Game 5 will be back at the NIC on March 14 in a 7:15 p.m. faceoff.