Late goal lifts Buccaneers

The Nanaimo Buccaneers defeated the Kerry Park Islanders by a 3-2 score on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

Nanaimo Buccaneers player Jordan Levesque protects the puck from Kerry Park Islanders opponent Chris Carpentier during Thursday's Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The Bucs won 3-2.

Nanaimo Buccaneers player Jordan Levesque protects the puck from Kerry Park Islanders opponent Chris Carpentier during Thursday's Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The Bucs won 3-2.

The Nanaimo Buccaneers came through in the clutch to beat the Kerry Park Islanders.

The city’s junior B hockey team defeated the visiting Isles by a 3-2 score on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre thanks to Will McNamara’s tie-breaking goal with less than three minutes left.

“It was a little close for comfort, but I thought the boys worked hard to get that win…” McNamara said. “We did what it took.”

The Bucs were up 2-1 going into the third and directed a lot of shots on goal in the third, but kept hitting the Islanders’ goalie in the crest until McNamara found some open ice entering the attacking zone and was able to pick his spot.

“Just keep putting pressure on the net, lots of shots and eventually they’re going to go in,” he said.

Buccaneers coach Derek Bachynski said winning in the dying minutes is a good feeling for his guys, and they can all share in the victory.

“We needed everyone tonight to battle hard and it was a good team win from start to finish,” said the coach.

McNamara said that sort of win creates “great excitement” for the Buccaneers.

“We’ve got a young team and lot of them, this is their first year of junior, so it’s a good start, a good confidence-builder for a lot of the guys,” he said.

David Osborne and Jared Fedosoff scored power-play goals in the second period. Rowan Siider had two assists and Liam Young earned the win in goal as his team outshot the opposition 35-32. Braedan Cross and Zack Smith tallied for Kerry Park.

GAME ON … The Buccaneers play the Campbell River Storm on Friday (Sept. 12) at 7:30 p.m. at Strathcona Gardens, then visit the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com