The Bucs were stopped here.
That was the buzz around the Comox Valley Sports Centre on Tuesday night after the Comox Valley Glacier Kings defeated the Nanaimo Buccaneers 5-3 to win their best-of-seven first-round Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series 4-1.
The Yetis, who finished second in the North Division, will now meet first-place Campbell River Storm in the second round of post-season play.
Derian Hamilton scored twice (including the game winner on the power play) and added one assist to earn first star honours while second star Grant Iles also had two goals and one helper. Third star Liam Shaw chipped in with two assists.
Nanaimo outshot Comox Valley 34-31, with Zachary Straza picking up the win and Jakob Severson taking the loss. The Bucs went 2-for-7 on the power play while the G-Kings were 1-for-8.
Hamilton and Iles staked the Icemen to a 2-0 lead by the 15:21 mark of the first period, with Carter Turnbull getting Nanaimo on the board with a power-play marker at 16:07.
Iles and Hamilton connected again in the second stanza to up the Yetis’ lead to 4-1 by the 6:09 mark, with Zach Funk keeping Nanaimo close with a shorthanded tally at 12:51.
Clayton Peace’s power-play goal at 6:20 of the third period got the hometown fans closer to the edge of their seats, but Franco Colapaolo restored some breathing room when he twisted the twine at 7:46.
The Bucs pulled Severson with just over three minutes left on the clock but could not close the gap.
The teams tied on points for second place in the North Division, with Comox Valley getting the nod for second by virtue of one more game won. Nanaimo won the first game of the series before the Yetis roared back to win four in a row.
Details of the Comox Valley vs. Campbell River series were being discussed as the Record went to press.
The Storm won eight of 10 regular season meetings against the Icemen. Their first five meetings were close, with three decided in overtime. But when Campbell River’s offence kicked into high gear in December, they won the last five meetings by a combined score of 38-4.
The Storm swept fourth-place Oceanside Generals 4-0 in their first-round series, outscoring them 27-3 in the process. Campbell River was the top-scoring team this season with 280 goals. They allowed 117 against for a league-best differential of +163.
Elsewhere, league and South Division champion Victoria Cougars eliminated fourth-place Kerry Park Islanders in four straight, outscoring them 31-4. The Capital City Cats await the winner of the Saanich Braves vs. Westshore Wolves series, which as of Wednesday was tied 2-2.
Victoria was the second highest scoring team this year with 256 goals, and their league-best goals against of 99 gave them a second-best differential of +157. The defending league champion Cougars ended the season on a 10-game winning streak and have now won 14 straight.