NANAIMO — Moving players onto the next level is a hallmark of the Buccaneers organization, but that prowess will force the organization to look from within to make a strong post-season push.
The VIJHL trade deadline saw the departure of 17-year-old rookie sensation Josh Zary. The Nanaimo product was snapped up by the BCHL's Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
Zary racked up 21 goals and 38 points in 27 games during a spectacular rookie campaign.
Junior A teams have been sniffing around the Pirate Ship for weeks, as the skilled forward possesses all the tools to be a productive BCHL player.
Bucs crown Glacier Kings
on Thursday, Jan. 10 the Bucs weren't missing Zary's offensive punch with a convincing 9-1 victory over the visiting Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
Eight different goal scorers led the Bucs to melting the Icemen. Trey Watson had a goal and three assists, while captain Billy Walters added a tally and two helpers.
Recently back from injury, sniper Darian Harris was the only Nanaimo player to record two goals. Riley Gannon, Dylan Devers, Ethan Dyck and Simon Creighton all earned two point evenings respectively.
Storm warning issued
On Friday, Jan 11 the Bucs dropped a hotly contested game 3-2 in Campbell River to the Storm.
Dylan Devers enjoyed another two-point night, assisting on Dawson Heathcote’s opening goal at 5:30 of the first period to get the visitors off to a good start. Seven minutes later Devers teamed up with Heathcote again, as they set up Seamus O’Toole’s power play marker.
But the Storms’ Mike Dyck cut Nanaimo’s lead in half with less than a minute remaining in the first period.
The only goal of the second period came off the stick of Zach Trempner, tying the game up 2-2. It was a very tight contest, both teams recording 28 shots on goal. Both Spencer Deakin (Buccaneers) and Aaron De Kok (Storm) were stalwarts in goal.
Reid Wheeldon’s goal late in the third was the difference, converting feeds from Tyler Chyzowski and Cole Slaney with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
Wheeldon was named the Home first star, while Dawson Heathcote got the Away first star nod.
The men in black and yellow were unable to make up any ground on Campbell River, who enjoy a 23-point lead over Nanaimo in the North Division standings.
The Buccaneers do, however, hold four games in hand on Campbell River.
The teams have an important make-up game because of the pre-Christmas storm that canceled their December 20 tilt
The South Division leading Victoria Cougars visit the Pirate Ship Thursday, Jan 17 at 7:15 p.m. Cougar standount and former Buc Booker Chacalias returns to Nanaimo – he's in second place in the VIJHL scoring race with 47 points.
The Bucs visit the Oceanside Generals Saturday, Jan 17 at 7 p.m.
— Larenzo Jensen is the play-by-play voice of the Nanaimo Buccaneers
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