It’s been an up-and-down season for the Nanaimo Buccaneers. The team got a red-hot start, winning their first 12 games of the season. In fact, through the first 16 games of the Vancouver Island Hockey League season, the Buccaneers had a record of 14-2, which gave them the best record in the entire league.
But after the great start, Nanaimo began to stumble. The team started to struggle and never really managed to turn it around. After victories in 14 of their first 16 games, the Buccaneers managed only 11 wins in the season’s remaining 32 games, compiling a record of 11-17-2-2 over the rest of the season.
The Buccaneers’ struggles as the season went on also had an effect on the team’s position in the competitive North division. The Buccaneers, who at one point had a 14 point lead over second place Campbell River Storm, have long since seen that lead deteriorate. Instead, the team will head into the playoffs in third place in the four team division, behind both Campbell River and Comox Valley.
The Buccaneers’ opponent in the first round of the playoffs will be the Campbell River Storm. The Storm finished second in the North division with a record of 30-14-2-2. The Storm finished the regular season ten points ahead of the Buccaneers, who finished the season with a record of 25-19-2-2.
The two teams faced off ten times during the regular season with Campbell River winning the season series 5-4. The two teams tied one of their games, but the Storm have certainly had the edge of Nanaimo as of late. The Storm have won three games in a row between the two teams by a combined score of 25-7.
The Buccaneers have lost three games in a row heading into the playoffs. All three of those losses came at the hands of the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, who finished atop the North division. Nanaimo had a 3-1 lead heading into the third period of their last game of the season on Saturday, February 15, but lost 4-3 in overtime.
The VIJHL playoff schedule is expected to be announced in the coming days. For more information on the Nanaimo Buccaneers in their quest for the Cyclone Taylor Cup as the top JR B team in British Columbia, visit buccaneers.vijhl.com