NANAIMO — A late shorthanded goal was the difference as the Buccaneers opened their 2017/18 VIJHL regular season with a 3-2 win over the Oceanside Generals Thursday night at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Jayden Schubert roofed a wrist shot past Generals goaltender Aaron Jakubowski with just under five minutes remaining in regulation to secure the victory.
New Bucs' head coach and general manager Curtis Toneff said the Generals played a persistent, effective game.
“I thought Oceanside worked hard and were relentless. It wasn't a fact that we weren't working hard enough, we weren't working very smart.”
The game was scoreless after the first period, tied 1-1 in the second intermission and deadlocked 2-2 until Schubert blew by an Oceanside defender to bury the eventual game winning goal.
Nanaimo (1-0) found themselves in penalty trouble as the Generals (0-2) constantly got under the Bucs skin, leading to a multiple swordsmen penalties away from the play.
Nicholas Robinson and Cam Nickerson were the other Nanaimo goal scorers, while Jared Winkel and Greyson Weme found the back of the net for Oceanside.
Toneff said rookie Bucs goaltender Derek Krall was “the difference.”
Toneff pointed to a critical one-timer save the Nanaimo product made off Oceanside's Landon Dziadyk when the game was tied late in the third period.
Krall slid across from his left to right to make a miraculous, acrobatic save.
“Those are the saves you need from goalies...Kraller was awesome, I'm very happy with how he played tonight.”
Krall was named the game's third star.
Generals netminder Jakubowski (second star) was sensational in his own right, making numerous highlight reel saves to keep his team in the game.
Nanaimo outshot Oceanside 41-26. The Bucs went 0-for-4 on the powerplay, while the Generals were 2-for-8 with the man advantage.
Nanaimo visits the Campbell River Storm Friday night. The reigning VIJHL champions bounced the Bucs from the North Division Final the past two seasons.
Nanaimo's next home game is Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Pirate Ship versus the Storm.
On Twitter: @reporterholmes
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