Game 1 was an indication that the Wolves and Buccaneers could be closely matched playoff opponents.
The Nanaimo Buccaneers defeated the Westshore Wolves 3-2 on Tuesday in Game 1 of the VIJHL playoffs at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
The Bucs won thanks to Lucas Patton’s game-winning goal on a point shot on the power play with about three and a half minutes left in the first overtime frame.
“I thought we played a pretty structured Game 1. Obviously it was Game 1 of the playoffs and we were all kind of tight and all we had to do was loosen up out there,” said Patton.
Curtis Toneff, Buccaneers coach, said he liked his team’s game from the drop of the puck, mentioning that the Bucs showed up on time, ready to go.
“And for them to claw back twice and us to stick with it and still come out on top … is huge,” Toneff said.
Nanaimo led after one period and the score stayed that way until the third, when the score got to 1-1, then 2-2. Dylan Devers and Billy Walters scored for Nanaimo with Andy Westhaver and Cameron Kinsman responding for Westshore. Blake Wood made 24 saves for the win for the Bucs and Jordan Spandli stopped 36 for the Wolves.
“We got the right result because of hard work and consistency. We played a very good 60-minute game today,” said Patton. “We’ve just got to regroup and refocus for game number two.”
GAME ON … The Bucs and Wolves play Game 2 on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7:15 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Game 3 is Sunday, March 4, at 6 p.m. at the Q Centre.