Nanaimo Buccaneers forward Braydon Nelson gets to a puck along the boards as teammate Trey Watson follows up on the play during Thursday’s VIJHL game against the Saanich Braves at the NIC. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo Buccaneers come through to beat Braves

Bucs win 3-1 after breaking a third-period tie in VIJHL action Thursday at the NIC

In a game that could have gone either way, the Nanaimo Buccaneers found a way to win.

The Bucs beat the Saanich Braves by a 3-1 score on Thursday in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

The game was 1-1 heading into the third, but it was the Bucs who were able to step up and score the winning goal as Riley Gannon got a pass in open ice and roofed the game winner about eight minutes into the final frame.

“I think we just followed the game plan we had at the start of the game and I think we did a great job with it,” he said.

The Buccaneers only allowed 15 shots on goal and Gannon said the team was focused defensively, trying to get pucks out and get pucks off the wall.

Trey Watson and Aiden Sutherland were Nanaimo’s other scorers and goalie Austin Dendl made 14 saves for the win.

Nanaimo’s next game is Sunday, Nov. 11, on the road against the North Division-leading Campbell River Storm, an organization that made a surprise coaching change this week.

“We just need to continue playing well like we did tonight. I think we can do it,” Gannon said.

GAME ON … Next home action for the Bucs is Thursday, Nov. 15, when the Westshore Wolves visit the NIC for a 7:15 p.m. game.

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