The Nanaimo Buccaneers came up with the sort of win that can help them turn the corner.
The city’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team came back to beat the division-leading Comox Valley Glacier Kings by a 5-3 score Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Nanaimo went into the third period trailing 3-1, but scored three unanswered goals and then an empty netter to ice the win.
“We realized it was only two goals and this team, we can overcome that and we’ve learned how to,” said Brad Knight, the team’s coach. “I thought we played hard all night. I thought we were the better team.”
Garrett Dunlop put the Bucs up 1-0 in the first period, but the visitors scored three times in the second period.
The comeback started with a goal from Dan Foglietta that bounced in from behind the goal line.
“We needed something like that to really get us going, either a big hit or a greasy goal like that, it all helps,” said Johnathan Speer, Bucs forward.
Corey Renwick tied it soon after, and then with seven minutes left a Glacier Kings defender fell down behind his net and Lucas Franssen stole the puck and got it to Speer for the winning goal.
“[He] made a great pass out in front. All I had to do was pretty much angle my stick and it went in,” said Speer.
Renwick added one more and Cameron Large posted the win with 24 saves.
Knight said the puck luck and the victory are rewards for his team’s recent hard work.
“We’ve been using our youth as an excuse and we’ve decided to stop using it as an excuse,” he said. “There’s goals in everybody. You’ve just got to work hard and you’ve got to want it.”
GAME ON … The Buccaneers (8-10-1) host the Oceanside Generals (8-10-2) on Saturday (Nov. 10) at 5:45 p.m. at the NIC. It’s minor hockey night, so kids who wear their minor hockey jerseys to the game will be admitted free, provided they’re accompanied by an adult. Nanaimo has another home game next Thursday (Nov. 15) against the Gens at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC.