NANAIMO — A 13-game Buccaneers (14-2) winning streak came to a crashing halt as the Campbell River Storm (13-4-1) invaded the Pirate Ship and beat Nanaimo 8-4 Thursday night.
The surging Storm scored five third period goals to put an exclamation point on a thorough and determined effort in front of 280 fans at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Bucs head coach Curtis Toneff said their focus and execution were off, as Campbell River set the tone early.
“When you're a team that's won as many games in a row as we did it's going to be circled on their calendars, we had to know that coming in, we can't just show up and take two points every night.”
Cody Savey and Pearce Messer each had two goals, while Kyle Kaufmann and Darren Hards had a goal and two assists to lead the Storm offense.
Booker Chacalias and Brandon Roberge each scored twice for Nanaimo.
Campbell River has won five straight games and are just a single point behind Nanaimo for first place in the VIJHL's North Division, while the Bucs have two games in hand. Both teams clash Friday night (Nov. 3) in Campbell River for the fifth of 10 regular season encounters.
Toneff said they had too many turnovers and didn't offer nearly enough support for goaltender Derek Krall.
“Krall's not going to stand on his head and make saves with his toes and his face every single night, we've got to help him out, we were really ugly in front of him I thought in the d-zone.”
The setback was Krall's first loss of the season (8-1) and the first time he's allowed more than two goals in a game. The loss was also the first the Swordsmen experienced defeat at home this season after winning their first eight outings in the Harbour City.
Nanaimo's only other loss this season was also to the Storm on Sept. 8 in Campbell River when the Storm won 6-1.
Campbell River's league best power-play was as advertised Thursday night, compiling two pretty goals off the stick of Messer on four opportunities.
Nanaimo's power-play struggled to muster much of anything going goal-less on eight chances.
There was a scary moment when Bucs star winger Darian Harris laid motionless on the ice after taking a hard hit against the end-zone boards. Harris was eventually helped up and slowly escorted off.
Toneff said they need to play a much smarter brand of hockey Friday night in Campbell River.
“We need guys to be ready off the bat because you can't go down there to Campbell River to start flat and expect to make something of a game.”
It's a busy stretch for the Bucs who travel to Courtenay to face the Glacier Kings Saturday night after the rematch with Campbell River.
Nanaimo's next home game is Thursday, Nov. 9 versus the Kerry Park Islanders at the Pirate Ship at 7:15 p.m.
—with files from Kyle Ireland
On Twitter: @reporterholmes
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