The league’s top scorer was unstoppable as the Nanaimo Buccaneers won their ninth straight hockey game.
Mathieu Jallabert scored five goals to lead the Bucs to a 7-1 win over the Peninsula Panthers on Thursday in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Jallabert scored one in the first, three in the second and one more in the third as the league’s first-place team overmatched the South Division’s last-place squad.
Jallabert, the VIJHL’s leading scorer, said he doesn’t think he’s ever scored five goals in an organized game before.
“Everything was going my way, I mean, a couple of those goals just hit my stick and went in the net,” he said. “So I’m super grateful. It was an awesome night. I thought the guys played pretty well, too, so … credit to the boys.”
Bucs coach Curtis Toneff said his team was a bit complacent in the first period, but showed up in the second and took over.
“We just upped the pace of the game in the second period,” said Toneff. “And obviously Jally had five goals and that was a large part to do with the outcome of the game.”
Booker Chacalias was on the top line with Jayden Schubert and Jallabert and the coach said the players’ different attributes worked well together.
“It’s just the speed they play with, and they play with tight support and they seem to have a lot of chemistry and they can find each other in those soft areas of the ice,” Toneff said.
Darian Harris and Cam Nickerson were Nanaimo’s other scorers, Noah Kelly had two assists and Derek Krall made 23 saves for the win as shots were 37-24 in favour of the Bucs.
GAME ON … The Buccaneers have the rest of the weekend off and their next game will be Thursday (Oct. 19) back at the NIC against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Faceoff is at 7:15 p.m.