When the game is on the line and the pressure’s on, the Nanaimo Buccaneers play great.
But what they still need to learn, perhaps, is that the game is on the line for a full 60 minutes.
The city’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team (6-8) lost 4-2 to the Peninsula Panthers on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
“We outplayed them for long stretches of the game, but we just had lapses where we’d break down and they’d capitalize,” said Derian Hamilton, Bucs player.
Nanaimo jumped to a 2-0 lead on first period goals from Lynden Eddy and Jordan Levesque, but got away from the game plan. Down 3-2 to start the third, the Bucs carried the play as they pressed for the equalizer, but then got into some penalty trouble and let the game get away.
Coach Brad Knight said the team didn’t play with a consistent compete level.
“I’m not going to make excuses. We’ve got to start winning some games, we can’t be young for the whole year…” he said. “Some kids I thought played real well and then I thought we had a lot of passengers, unfortunately.”
Hamilton said for the Bucs to have a winning result, it will take preparation.
“We’ve got to be ready to play and ready to play for the whole game,” he said.
ICE CHIPS … Buccaneers goalie Riley Medves made 39 saves in defeat and Cole Newman assisted on both his team’s goals … The Buccaneers play the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday (Oct. 20) up Island. Next Thursday (Oct. 25) the Bucs host the Oceanside Generals in a 7:15 p.m. game at the NIC.