It took almost a game and a half’s worth of hockey, but it was worth it for the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
The Bucs now lead their first-round VIJHL playoff series two games to none after defeating the Westshore Wolves by a 4-3 score on Thursday night at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Darian Harris scored the winning goal with two and a half minutes left in double OT after tipping a centring pass from Dylan Devers on a rush.
Nanaimo nearly won the game in regulation, but Westshore’s Ethan Brandwood scored with eight seconds left.
“We just had to fight back and had to do it in overtime. We knew we could do it,” Harris said. “You’ve just got to find the energy and just find a way to do it. With this group of guys, these guys know how.”
Trey Watson, Dawson Heathcote and Nathan Hauser scored Nanaimo’s other goals and Blake Bentham, Dylan Parsons and Brandwood replied for Westshore. Bucs goalie Blake Wood earned the win with 39 saves and Wolves netminder Jordan Spandli stopped 27 shots in defeat.
“It was all right. I thought we could have done better, but we came up with the win; I guess that’s all that really matters,” said Harris.
GAME ON … The Bucs and Wolves play Game 3 on Sunday, March 3, at 6 p.m. at the Q Centre and Game 4 will be Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Q Centre. Game 5, if necessary, would be back at the NIC on Thursday, March 7, at 7:15 p.m.