NANAIMO — The Buccaneers have been resilient all year — they proved that once again Monday night at the Nanaimo Ice Centre with a 4-3 overtime victory over Campbell River to stave off elimination.
Seamus O'Toole scored a seeing-eye point shot that eluded Storm netminder Chris Smith through a maze of bodies, to give the Bucs their first win of the series.
Nanaimo heads to Campbell River Tuesday for game five of the VIJHL series down 3-1 in the best-of-seven North Division series.
“There was a lot of times during that game where we could have rolled over and taken the easy way out and chose not to,” Buccaneers head coach Dan Lemmon said.
The Storm were the much better team, outshooting Nanaimo 50-27. The Storm picked up the pressure significantly in the third period by piling up 22 shots to the Bucs four.
John Hawthorne was strong in goal for the Bucs, allowing the hosts a chance to extend their season.
Nanaimo built up a 2-0 first period lead on powerplay goals by Cole Broadhurst and Dawson Heathcote, who scored two goals on the night. However, Campbell River then responded with a pair of first period tallies by Mitchell Williams.
O'Toole, a towering first year defenceman from Lantzville, said it felt great to score such an important goal.
“A couple guys who are playing their last junior season, could have been there last game tonight and I don't think anybody wanted to go out like that,” O'Toole said. “Overtime, everyone laid it on the line, shots from everywhere.”
The atmosphere at the Pirate Ship was electric, with 485 fans in attendance at the facility which only seats 400.
Game five of the series goes on Tuesday night at Strathcona Gardens in Campbell River.
Game six, if necessary, would happen Thursday, March 16 at 7:15 p.m.
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