The Nanaimo Buccaneers started with a tough loss and a tight win, and now they’re getting ready for the next challenge.
The Bucs play their home opener this Thursday (Sept. 10) against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
The city’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team opened the regular season last Friday with a 7-0 loss to the defending-champion Campbell River Storm, then responded the next night with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Glacier Kings.
“The first game obviously didn’t go as planned,” said Dan Lemmon, Bucs coach. “That being said, we saw where our weaknesses are and we have something that we can learn from.”
The second game had its share of drama, as the Yetis tied the game on a power-play with 20 seconds left and the teams required a second OT frame before the Bucs ended it.
“It kind of showed we are a team that’s going to be resilient,” Lemmon said.
Jordan Levesque scored the game-winning goal, one-timing a pass from Nolan Richardson. Trent Bell had two goals in the game, Billy Walters had a goal and two assists and Alex Orth made 27 saves for the win.
The coach said the Buccaneers have a lot of work to do with defensive positioning of D-men and forwards in their own end and in the neutral zone. They’ll be looking for a positive result in their regular-season debut at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
“It’s nice to finally get a game at home and see the fans out there and get some energy from them,” Lemmon said. “Other than that, it’s going to be just another game for the boys and we’re going to try to keep it as simple as we can and make sure that we can get that win at home.”
GAME ON … The Bucs and Glacier Kings face off Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC. Nanaimo then visits the Oceanside Generals in Parksville on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.