The Nanaimo Buccaneers skated circles around the competition on Thursday night.
The Bucs reached double digits in an 11-1 win over the Saanich Braves in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
“We showed up,” said Dan Lemmon, Bucs coach. “It’s nice finally being able to get some goals and have a game where we’re not screaming for the entire 60 minutes.”
Even before the opening faceoff, the Braves found themselves in a hole as they took a delay-of-game penalty for dawdling off the ice at the end of the warm-up skate.
Jake Calverley promptly opened the scoring on the power play 23 seconds into the game and it didn’t take long before the rout was on.
Nick Gomerich, Jayden Schubert and Hobin Zinck all had two-goal games, Billy Walters had a goal and three assists and Jordan Levesque, D.J. Petruzzelli and Clayton Peace were Nanaimo’s other scorers. Alex Orth made 23 saves for the win.
“Right from the get-go, we had some legs under us; you could tell right from the first shift,” said Gomerich.
The Bucs weren’t looking to run up the score, as the top line hardly got any ice time in the third period and players were utilized in different roles. Still, the coach felt his guys maintained good habits throughout.
“Sometimes in hockey when you get ahead by a couple goals, people start playing softer and it kind of turns into a point night sometimes,” Gomerich said. “But I feel like we stuck to it tonight and played consistent the whole way through.”
GAME ON … The Bucs visit the Peninsula Panthers on Friday (Jan. 29). Next home action is Thursday when the Comox Valley Glacier Kings stop by the NIC for a 7:15 p.m. faceoff.