As the Vancouver Island JR Hockey League regular season enters its final week, the playoff picture is starting to become clearer for the Nanaimo Buccaneers. It’s starting to look as though the team will begin the playoffs on the road as the third seed in the North Division.
It has been apparent for a while that the Buccaneers would be playing the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in the first round of the playoffs. The question was which team was going to have home ice advantage. Now, with only a week left in the season, it’s looking like home ice will probably go to Comox Valley. The two teams are tied with 50 points on the season, but Comox Valley has four games left to play this season and the Buccaneers only have two.
The Buccaneers got a preview of their first round series on February 7 when the team traveled to Comox to take on the Glacier Kings. Comox opened the scoring on an early powerplay as Keegun Selva scored to give Comox the 1-0 lead. The Buccaneers got a powerplay goal of their own from Jordan Levesque at 14:39 to tie the game 1-1. But Jordan Crisp scored a goal for Comox late in the first period to give the Glacier Kings the lead heading into the first intermission.
After Clayton Peace scored for the Buccaneers to make it 2-2 at 15:18, the Glacier Kings scored two late goals before the end of the period. First, it was Selva with his second of the game, followed by Kyle Wade scoring to give Comox a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.
Early in the third period Hobin Zinck scored for the Buccaneers to cut the Kings’ lead to 4-3. Then, with just under two minutes left in the game, Levesque scored his second of the game to tie the score at 4-4 and force overtime. Late in the first overtime period, Grant Iles scored for the Glacier Kings to give Comox Valley the 5-4 overtime win.
The loss was the Buccaneers’ second in a row. The team has only won one of its last eight games.
The Buccaneers only have one home game remaining in the regular season on Thursday, February 12 against the visiting Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Puck drops at 7:15 pm. Tickets are available at the door and are only $8 for students. All Buccaneers home games are played at the Nanaimo Ice Centre, located below campus.