The Buccaneers made it a hard-fought series, but didn’t have quite enough to stave off elimination.
The Nanaimo Buccaners lost 4-1 to the Campbell River Storm in Game 6 on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre to drop their first-round series four games to two.
The game was 2-1 heading into the third period, but the Storm, who started the frame with a power play, capitalized and were able to wear down the Bucs and wind down the clock.
Lee Stone, coach of the Storm, said he was impressed with his team’s road game and the way his guys recovered from one goal down and go on to win. He said the early third-period goal definitely gave his team some breathing room.
“We talked about what we wanted to accomplish and I have to give full credit to the boys, they went out there and executed exactly what we wanted,” he said.
Brian Majic scored twice for Campbell River, including one into an empty netter, and Ryan Suzukovich and Owen Christensen also tallied. Aaron de Kok made 20 saves.
For the Bucs, Chase Heslop scored his team’s goal and Austin Dendl made 26 saves.
“Kudos to the Bucs, I thought they played really hard, I thought they were well-coached; they played playoff hockey,” Stone said, also praising Nanaimo’s graduating 20-year-olds. “Those guys battled hard in the series and definitely pushed us to the limit, there’s no question.”
The Storm now advance to play the Oceanside Generals in the North Division final. The Gens swept the Kerry Park Islanders in Round 1 and were at the NIC Thursday scouting. Stone said Campbell River has some guys who are banged up, so they’ll do their best to take advantage of a few days off before Round 2 starts in Oceanside.
“They’re a really good team and I think having that real playoff-style round, as opposed to a quick sweep like they’ve had certainly should help prepare us,” Stone said.