The Nanaimo Buccaneers are skating a few strides ahead of the rest of the North Division to start the season.
The city’s junior B hockey team won two more games last week, 5-0 over the Oceanside Generals and 4-1 over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, to improve to 4-0 so far in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League campaign.
The Bucs shut out the Gens on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre, outplaying the opposition at both ends of the ice and also on special teams.
“We won every battle that we could,” said Will McNamara, who had a goal and two assists. “We just try to collapse the net as best we can and play the body.”
Dan Foglietta had a goal and three assists, Lee Orpen had a goal and two helpers and Johnathan Speer and David Osborne were Nanaimo’s other scorers. Ryan Waldhaus made 17 stops for the shutout.
Two days later, the Bucs visited the Glacier Kings up Island and rode a hot start to victory. Lucas Franssen, Foglietta, Orpen and Riel Gibson all scored first-period goals and Waldhaus made 30 saves to secure the win.
The strong start to the season has the Bucs feeling good about themselves and their chances this year.
“We’re a close group of guys,” McNamara said. “A lot of us played together last year so we know what it takes to win and this year we’re doing whatever it takes.”
GAME ON … The Buccaneers visit the Westshore Wolves on Wednesday (Sept. 18) and then host the Glacier Kings on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.