Jordan Rauser (27) is mobbed by teammates following his first period goal on Friday night at the Brindy. It was all the Storm needed in skating to a 3-0 win over the Nanaimo Buccaneers. The Storm now advance to the semi-finals against the Victoria Cougars.

Storm advance with shutout

Campbell River dumps Nanaimo Buccaneers 3-0 to clinch the opening playoff round. Victoria is next.

Jordan Rauser’s first period power play goal was all the Storm needed to advance to the semi-final in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

Campbell River skated to a 3-0 victory over the Nanaimo Buccaneers Friday night at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena to clinch the seven-game series 4-2.

The night before, in Nanaimo, the Bucs forced a sixth game with a 4-2 victory.

But on Friday night in front of the hometown fans, backup goalie Russell Sanderson got the call over Jack Surgenor, and turned away 40 shots for the shutout.

Sanderson made some fine saves, but the Storm defence played a terrific game, generally allowing perimeter shots and few rebounds.

Rauser brought the fans to their feet at 10:19 of the first period. With the man advantage, the Storm had the Bucs’ penalty kill running around in their own end until Rauser finally found the back of the net with assists to Brendan deVries and Trent Johnson.

In the second, the Storm PK was at its finest, fending off five Nanaimo power plays, including an extended 5-on-3 opportunity.

The Bucs’ didn’t fare so well down a man. At 12:35, deVries scored on the power play from Johnson and captain Brayden Taekema to go up 2-0.

The Storm went on the attack after that and just 1:29 later, Rauser netted his second of the night from Curtis Toneff and Josiah Friesen.

After Nanaimo failed to score with the two-man advantage, their forwards ran out of steam. In the third, Campbell River played a tight-checking and disciplined game to hold on for the 3-0 victory.

Nanaimo fans grumbled about two late waved-off goals, but the better team won the series.

The Storm will have its hands full in the semis against the Victoria Cougars, who finished first overall in the South Division. Game one is Thursday night in Victoria and game two is Friday night, in Campbell River, at the Brindy, and Storm owner Kevin Spooner is hoping to seek a packed crowd.

“We need to fill this place up like we used to!” he said, pumped up following the series victory. “These kids are playing really good hockey right now, let’s fill this place up!”