ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Dylan Hartl scored on the power play at 1:21 of overtime to lift the Nanaimo Buccaneers past the Victoria Cougars 3-2 on Thursday night.
From the high slot, Hartl wired a shot over the right shoulder of Patrick Ostermann for his eighth goal of the season.
Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Carl Ewert who had all but 27 seconds expired in his interference penalty.
The win moves Nanaimo (20-5-0-1) into sole possession of first place in the North Island Division, one point ahead of the Campbell River Storm.
Also scoring for the Buccaneers were Luc Wilson and Seamus O’Toole.
But it would be Victoria who would waste no time getting things started offensively. After Derek Krall turned aside Matthew Berryman, on the doorstep was Mateo Albinati who jammed home the rebound.
The goal was scored at 4:03 of the first period.
But at 6:07, Wilson cycled out of the corner and from the slot he beat Ostermann between the wickets to tie the game.
The high-flying Buccaneers took the lead when O’Toole batted the puck out of midair and past Ostermann at 10:11.
There would be no scoring until the 17:07 mark of the second period. Making the most out of every opportunity, Albinati completed a beautiful tic-tac-toe set up by Darwin Lakoduk and Kyle Wade while on a two-man advantage.
Albinati now has 11 goals on the season and has scored six times in his last three games.
Late in the third period, Ostermann preserved the tie after robbing Trey Watson after the rugged forward made a nice toe-drag around a defender.
Both goaltenders played extremely well with Ostermann making 30 saves and Krall stopping 35 shots.
Victoria finished 1-for-6 on the power play; meanwhile, the Buccaneers went 1-for-9 with the man advantage.
The loss drops the Cougars (13-10-0-1) five points behind the South Island Division leading Westshore Wolves.
Mathieu Jallabert and Jayden Schubert each had two assists for the visitors.
Next game for Victoria is Saturday, December 2 versus the Nanaimo Buccaneers. Game time at Nanaimo Ice Centre, located at 750 Third Street, is 8:00 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Mateo Albinati (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Derek Krall (Saves: 35, Save Percentage: .946)
3rd star, Patrick Ostermann (Saves: 30, Save Percentage: .909)