The Nanaimo Buccaneers had an overpowering start to the hockey game and the Comox Valley Glacier Kings were overmatched.
The Bucs beat the last-place Yetis 7-1 on Thursday in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Nanaimo fired a remarkable 30 shots on goal in the first period and shots ended up 57-13 on the night.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a group that has put up 30 shots in a period,” said Christian Brandt, Buccaneers assistant coach. “We started on time, we did our jobs and it looked good.”
Josh Zary, who scored twice, said the opening minutes of any game are key.
“I think our starts are probably our most important thing,” he said. “We go out there for the first 10 and really just get the puck in deep and grind out those first shifts and that just builds momentum for us the rest of the game.”
He said a lot of the Buccaneers’ offensive success came from getting a lot of pucks toward the net.
“We took every shot we could,” said Zary. “Once we started shooting it more, we started opening up the ice more and making plays and really started creating more opportunities for each other.”
Brandt said the lopsided game meant the Buccaneers could roll four lines and get all the guys engaged.
“These kind of games are often called trap games where you can get sucked back getting into bad habits,” he said. “But I think we did a good job of avoiding bad habits and sticking to our system.”
Aside from Zary’s two goals, Darian Harris also scored a pair and other scorers were Tyson McLean, Ethan Dyck and Brendan Rogers. Blake Wood made 12 saves for the win.
Also of note, the Buccaneers introduced new third jerseys, mostly white and featuring a new alternate logo on the front with a ship’s wheel, team name and sabre.
“I love them, I think they’re great…” Brandt said. “I’ve never seen the Bucs wear white but I’ve got to say, I’m a fan.”
Zary said the players all love the jerseys.
“The new threads were awesome…” he said. “And we looked pretty good, so we’re going to look forward to wearing them more at home.”
GAME ON … The Bucs visit the Kerry Park Islanders on Saturday, Sept. 22. Nanaimo’s next home game is Sept. 27, when the Peninsula Panthers visit the NIC for a 7:15 p.m. faceoff.
By Greg Sakaki – Nanaimo News Bulletin