The Nanaimo Buccaneers (10-1-0-0) have made a habit of blowing out teams all season, but on Thursday night they proved they could win the close ones.
The Buccaneers beat the Peninsula Panthers 4-3 in Vancouver Island Junior B Hockey League action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Will McNamara, Chad Bell, Dayton Boutillier and Daniel Foglietta scored for Nanaimo while Ryan Waldhaus made 18 saves in his first start in two weeks due to injury. Grayson Vickers, Reese Costain and Tate Coghlin replied for Peninsula (5-4-1-1) and Joey Karrer stopped 23 shots in the loss.
"Peninsula came in here and gave us a real good effort tonight," said Nanaimo head coach Brad Knight. "It was a really good game, it was fast, it was clean, there wasn't a lot of mistakes."
Things are going so well for the Buccaneers, they are starting to get some breaks.
With the game was tied at 3-3 to start the third period, Foglietta came in on a two-on-one and his cross-crease pass banked in off of Panthers defenceman Brett Sjerven and through Karrer's pads.
Most importantly, they are just playing good hockey and being rewarded for it.
"Everybody chipped in," said Knight.
"To a man, I wouldn't say there was anyone less than a seven-out-of-10."
McNamara, in particular, has looked sharp of late, and was named the game's No. 1 star. He has even been moved back to the point on the power play.
"We just wanted to give us another dimension with a couple of guys down," said Knight.
"He's real good with the puck and he gives us a guy with real good vision back there."
Up next for Nanaimo are the Braves (5-6-0-0) in Saanich tonight at 6:30 p.m.
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