Written by Mike Magee (ISN) – Photos by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
March 13, 2013, Courtenay, BC (ISN) – The Comox Valley Glacier Kings came out firing on all cylinders Tuesday night in Courtenay. Despite another massive performance by Nanaimo Buccaneers goalie Cam Large, they were able to come away with the much needed 2-1 overtime victory.
From the opening faceoff it was clear the Glacier Kings were not ready to go down 3-1 in the series. The Comox Valley hosts looked to set the tone with crisp passing, bone jarring hits and plenty of shots serving notice they were here to play.
Nanaimo would fend off the steady pressure from the home side until the 16 minute mark of the opening period when Glacier Kings defenseman Brandon Halls would rifle a shot by Large putting his team up 1-0. The G-Kings would outshoot Nanaimo 13-3 in the first frame forcing the Buccaneers to rely heavily on the outstanding play of their tender.
Glacier Kings forward Andrew White (#12 in white) powers by a Nanaimo defender – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
After regrouping in between periods it was the Buccaneers turn to control the flow of play. Just 20 seconds into the 2nd period Nanaimo forward Garrett Dunlop would tie the game at 1 and remind the home team that the game was not over yet.
Buccaneer’s defenseman Thor Rosback (#7) controls the puck along the boards stifling a Glacier Kings attack – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
Nanaimo controlled the momentum for the bulk of the 2nd frame. The Glacier Kings would attempt to steal back the momentum by hitting anything that moved. G-Kings forward Wade Bartlett lead the way with his physical play on the forecheck, applying relentless pressure and almost netting one himself by continuously crashing the net with reckless abandon.
Comox Valley’s Garrett Halls puts a shot on net during a powerplay Tuesday night – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
The supporters in attendance would enjoy back and forth play in the 3rd period with both teams getting their fair share of chances, but neither able to convert. The teams would trade but in the end it was a tender’s duo.
At the end of regulation time the G-Kings were outshooting Nanaimo 32-17.
A brief 5 minute break and overtime began, both teams were right back at it with hits that could be felt in the bleachers. Before the crowd could settle in, it was Glacier Kings #16 Michael Pond who accepted a beautiful pass from line mate Jack Kennelly and solving tender Cam Large via the top corner on his glove side.
Steven Garcia of the Glacier Kings looks for the support of a line mate – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
The three stars in the building were well deserved with Nanaimo Buccaneer goalie Cam Large, making 34 saves on 36 shots to snag first star. Glacier Kings forward Michael Scoobie securing 2nd star with his solid play and assist on the game winner. 3rd star went to Glacier Kings forward Michael Pond, Michael battled hard against a tough Nanaimo defence and after 64 minutes would net the game winner.
Goalie Cam Large of the Nanaimo Buccaneer’s snags the puck out of the air. Large would also snag 1st star honours despite his team’s 2-1 loss Tuesday night in Courtenay – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
With the series all tied up at 2 the teams will hit the ice again on Thursday for game 5 at the Nanaimo Ice Center. Faceoff is set for 7:15pm and this is one you will not want to miss.