Understaffed Panthers find way to win against Buccaneers

Things looked ominous last Friday night as the Peninsula Panthers prepared to host the VIJHL leading Nanaimo Buccaneers

Panthers 17-year-old forward Braedan Pearce has a near miss with a Nanaimo Buccaneer forward last Friday night. The Buccaneers visit Panorama for the last time this season Friday.

Things looked ominous last Friday night at Panorama Recreation Centre as the Peninsula Panthers prepared to host the VIJHL leading Nanaimo Buccaneers in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action.

Five key players off the Panthers’ roster were injured and both defenceman Spencer Loverock and forward Reece Costain were called up to games in the BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers and the Victoria Grizzlies.

The Panthers called up two affiliate players from Midget to fill the gaps however the team was still a couple of skaters short of a full bench which made their 4-2 victory against the north island VIJHL leaders a satisfying one.

“We have been playing really solid hockey as of late,” explained hockey operations manager Pete Zubersky of Friday night’s win over the Buccaneers.

“Our kids are working as hard as they have all season long and they seem to be figuring things out. We have a tough November schedule playing most of the top teams in the league, but we believe we can be as good as anyone. We will have almost everyone healthy for Friday when we’re scheduled to tangle with the Buccaneers again and I know they are going to be ready for that one.”

The Panthers will again host the Buccaneers on Friday evening for their final regular season visit. The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. at Panorama.