The Comox Valley Glacier Kings built a 4-0 lead then hung on for a 5-3 win Saturday night in Courtenay to defeat the Nanaimo Buccaneers 5-3 and take a 2-1 lead in their first-round Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series.
The Icemen lost the first game of the best-of-seven series 5-2 in Courtenay on Feb. 17 then regained home-ice advantage by beating the Bucs 4-3 in overtime on Feb. 19 in Nanaimo. Game 4 goes Monday night in Nanaimo, with Game 5 on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Comox Valley Sports Centre Arena #1.
On Feb. 21, the Yetis led 4-0 after the first period. Nanaimo chipped away at the lead and had it down to 4-3 by 12:26 of the third, but Derian Hamilton’s empty netter sealed the deal for the G-Kings. Ty Madden, Austin McNeil (second star), Grant Iles (first star) and Kyle Wade had the other Comox Valley goals. The Yetis outshot the Bucs 28-19 with Zachary Straza picking up the win in net.
The two evenly matched teams tied on points for second place in the North Division on the regular season, and they played another close one Feb. 19 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre where affiliate player Grayden McInnes’ OT goal early in the extra frame lifted the Icemen to a 4-3 win.
The Bucs led 2-1 after one and it was 2-2 after two. The G-Kings went ahead early in the third on Dylan Sampson’s unassisted shorthanded goal only to have Nanaimo pull even at 14:17 on the power play. Straza picked up the win as the visitors outshot the home team 26-20.
The series started Feb. 17 in Courtenay with Nanaimo winning 5-2. The Bucs were up 4-0 through two periods. Wade and Colton St. John cut the lead in half by 13:35 of the third, but the Bucs clinched things with a power-play tally at 15:23.
Liam Young started in goal and played 34 minutes before giving way to Straza after Nanaimo scored shorthanded to go up 4-0.
ICE CHIPS If necessary, Game 6 is Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7:15 p.m. in Nanaimo and Game 7 Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Courtenay …