Do-or-die time for Buccaneers

The Bucs were beaten 7-4 by the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Game 5 Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre to fall behind in their series.

Nanaimo Buccaneers player Lee Orpen

Nanaimo Buccaneers player Lee Orpen

The Nanaimo Buccaneers are now facing must-win hockey.

The Bucs were beaten 7-4 by the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Game 5 Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre to fall behind in their series, three games to two.

It was a weird game, especially for playoff time, with both teams allowing a lot of scoring opportunities. The Glacier Kings opened a 3-0 lead early in the second period, chasing Buccaneers goalie Cam Large.

“We were playing catch-up,” said Brad Knight, Bucs coach. “Every time we exposed ourselves to try to push for a goal closer, we opened ourselves up for vulnerability.”

Riel Gibson got Nanaimo on the scoreboard early in the second, keeping on a short-handed two-on-one rush, but Comox restored its lead late in the frame.

The Yetis made it 5-1 early in the third but the Bucs answered with a pair of quick ones. First Lynden Eddy had one bounce in off his skate, then Will McNamara ricocheted one in from behind the net.

The teams traded goals the rest of the way, with Jake Calverley scoring on a short-handed solo effort late.

Shots ended up 31-26 in favour of the Buccaneers.

The result sets up a do-or-die Game 6 on the road Saturday (March 16).

“Our backs are against the wall, so we don’t need any more motivation than that,” said Knight.

GAME ON … Game 6 is a 7:30 p.m. faceoff at the Comox Valley Sports Centre. Game 7, if necessary, will be Sunday at 3 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com