The Nanaimo Buccaneers are winning every night these days, and some of the wins are something special.
The Bucs won both their games last week, including a 3-2 double-overtime thriller over the league-leading Victoria Cougars on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Nanaimo had trailed 2-0 going into the third period, but tied it up and then won it when Chad Bell scored on a penalty shot 40 seconds into the second OT frame.
“It was one of those defining moments of our season…” said Dan Lemmon, Bucs coach. “Kind of a special moment to have your captain get that penalty shot on a play that he outworked their D man to get ahead of him.”
Lemmon said his team had felt like it “had the better part of the play” during the game’s opening 40 minutes, so guys believed they could come back.
He said with off-season and mid-season trades between the Cougars and Buccaneers, along with the teams’ high positions in the standings, the game was a meaningful one.
“Those are the kind of special games where there’s more to it than just the competitive hockey game, a little bit more background to it,” Lemmon said.
Bell scored twice and Dawson Heathcote also tallied. John Hawthorne was the winning goalie as shots ended 35-25 in favour of Nanaimo.
Two nights later, the Bucs handled the Peninsula Panthers 7-3 at the NIC. Lemmon said his team had a bit of a slow start which he expected after the big game earlier in the week.
Nolan Richardson scored a hat trick to go with two assists.
“It definitely wasn’t our best game, but we had some good shifts that we all forechecked and when we did have chances, we capitalized, so that’s what matters,” Richardson said.
Bell had another two-goal game and Jake Calverley and Heathcote were Nanaimo’s other scorers. Cedric LeSieur made 15 saves as shots were 35-18 for the Bucs.
Nanaimo has won six games in a row and 12 out of 13.
GAME ON … The Buccaneers host the Kerry Park Islanders on Thursday (Jan. 26) at 7:15 p.m. at the NIC, then visit the Campbell River Storm on Friday up Island.