The Nanaimo Buccaneers are beatable after all.
The city’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team saw its 13-game winning streak end with an 8-4 loss to the Campbell River Storm on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Bucs coach Curtis Toneff said his team worked hard, but didn’t work smart.
“The effort was there, we wanted it, but we weren’t thinking the game, we weren’t playing within our structure and our system and they took advantage of it,” Toneff said.
The Storm scored late in the second period to snap a 2-2 tie and then added three goals in a six-minute span early in the third to take control.
Nanaimo got two goals from Booker Chacalias and then two from Brandon Roberge. Goalie Derek Krall made 31 saves for his first loss of the season.
For the Storm, Cody Savey and Pearce Messer scored two goals each, Kyle Kaufmann and Darren Hards each had a goal and two assists and Brett Kinley and Jalen Price also tallied. Spencer Deakin made 24 saves for the win.
Toneff agreed that Thursday’s loss can be a teaching tool for the Buccaneers.
“We didn’t want to lose, we didn’t want to come out and drop a game like that to Campbell River, but it knocks our guys back down to Earth…” the coach said. “We’re not going to just show up and win every game without the 60 minutes in between when we get there and finish the game.”
Thursday’s game was the start of back-to-back matchups against the Storm, the rematch is Friday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Rod Brind’Amour Arena in Campbell River.
“We need to be harder to play against and we need to work smarter and we need every guy to buy in,” Toneff said. “I think the last couple times we’ve beaten them, we’ve played a fairly simple, greasy game where everyone’s played pretty well and everyone’s bought in.”