The Nanaimo Buccaneers will get a glimpse of what it will take to achieve their goals.
The Bucs host the Victoria Cougars tonight (Oct. 1) in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action.
The South Division’s Cougars are a perennial contender in the VIJHL and are the host team of next spring’s Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial championship tournament. So it’s a measuring-stick sort of game, said Dan Lemmon, coach of the Buccaneers.
“With Victoria hosting the Cyclone this year, they’ve put together a good team, and that’s a place that we want to be as well,” he said.
His players are looking forward to the challenge, Lemmon said.
“We’ve beat one of the top teams in Campbell River already in the North [Division], so we’re excited to upset Victoria and hopefully put on a show for everyone.”
The Cougars have a dangerous power play and a lot of offensive firepower. The Buccaneers plan to even out their lines, Lemmon said, so that they can roll four lines that can be competitive against the opposition. Nanaimo will also stress defence-first hockey.
“We’ve had our most success when we keep it simple and it starts in our own zone by getting pucks out of the blueline and then getting pucks in deep and not turning over any pucks in the grey area,” the coach said.
Brothers united on Buccaneers
The junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers made a move to bolster their back end.
The team traded for defenceman Gibson Doney last week, dealing Conner Mowatt to the Oceanside Generals.
Gibson is the older brother of fellow Bucs D-man Coleman Doney.
“[Gibson Doney] is a guy that we’re going to look to down the stretch to really give us some leadership on the back end as well as some grit,” said Dan Lemmon, general manager of the Buccaneers.
GAME ON … The Buccaneers and Cougars play Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Tickets cost $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for kids and will be available at the door … The Bucs visit the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday.