Nanaimo Buccaneers forward Mathieu Jallabert is checked by Saanich Braves defenceman Elliott MacIsaac during Sunday’s VIJHL playoff game at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo Buccaneers beaten in Game 7

Saanich Braves win 5-2 in front of sell-out crowd at the NIC on Sunday night

It was the Nanaimo Buccaneers’ best season yet, but it’s come to an end.

The Bucs were beaten 5-2 by the Saanich Braves in Game 7 of the VIJHL semifinals on Sunday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre and have been eliminated. The Braves advance to face the Campbell River Storm in the finals.

Sunday’s game was played before the largest crowd in Buccaneers franchise history, with 610 fans on hand and more who had to be turned away at the door.

The Braves were able to limit the Buccaneers’ home-ice advantage, however, by building a 3-0 lead by the first intermission. The Bucs made it 3-2 going into the third, but couldn’t score a tying goal and the Braves added two empty-netters to ice the series.

“We were probably gripping our sticks too tight,” said Curtis Toneff, Bucs coach. “We saw our fans up there and definitely appreciated it, but I don’t think too many guys have played in Game 7s in those situations.”

Booker Chacalias and Clayton Peace scored Nanaimo’s goals and Derek Krall made 22 saves in defeat as shots were 41-27 in favour of the home team.

For Saanich, Jake Wilhelm, Zach Guerra, Dale McCabe, Elliott MacIsaac and Cameron LeSergent scored and Riley Mathieson made 39 saves for the win.

story continues below

Toneff said his team laid it on the line in the third period, but couldn’t come all the way back after its tough start.

“That’s the game. It was a good game in the end,” he said. “It could have got ugly, but our guys never said die.”

Toneff said his coaching staff and ownership are proud of the players, the franchise records they achieved, how much they improved and how close they became as a team.

“We thought we were destined for a championship run, or at least a final, but so many things have to go right for that to happen,” the coach said.

Toneff gave the Braves full credit for coming back to win a series they trailed 2-0.

“We definitely wish them the best of luck. It would be nice to see them take one. Let’s face it, they’re a bit of an underdog between us three teams,” Toneff said.

GAME ON … The Storm and Braves play Game 1 of the VIJHL finals on Tuesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Campbell River.



sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s École Hammond Bay school unveils new gym expansion

Larger gym can accommodate home games and assemblies

Nanaimo couple fights for their lives together

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Nanaimo city councillors to eliminate committee of the whole meetings

COW meetings would be replaced with new committee

Nanaimo nature club wants more members

Nature Nanaimo wants to grow membership to expand activities and projects

Kw’umut Lelum hosts grand opening of new Nanaimo office

Nanaimo centre will serve urban families from nine First Nations

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 17

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo Women March On with a message that matters

A range of voices will lead the conversation at Jan. 19 event downtown

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Ex-Mountie investigating ‘Surrey six’ murders pleads guilty to obstruction

Derek Brassington entered his plea in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

More than 100,000 toxic toys named in Canada-wide recall

Plastic doll contains levels of phthalates over allowable limit and may pose chemical hazard

Most Read