Generals have nine games to find position
Oceanside’s Save-On-Foods Generals dropped both their hockey games on the weekend but it certainly wasn’t for lack of effort.
The Gens came up short 6-4 in Comox to the Glacier Kings on Friday and battled hard again the following night but lost 4-2 to the Campbell River Storm and their red-hot keeper at home on Saturday.
“We played well on the weekend — we played well enough to win both games,” head coach and GM Dave Johnston surmised Sunday night, “but again, parity is very strong (in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League), and a bounce here, a power play goal there ...”
The Storm may be sitting last in the seven-team VIJHL, but they’re stubborn, and were coming off a big 7-5 win over the first-place Cougars on Friday.
Those in attendance Saturday were treated to another fast, entertaining game of firewagon hockey; few on whistles and big on body checks.
The Generals dominated long stretches of the game and were driving to the net in waves; they hit a couple posts, a crossbar, missed at least two yawning cages, and were snake-bit by the Campbell River stopper. Kolding Larson took the loss in net at the other end.
Asked to confirm some of the bright spots from Saturday — Tyler Auricchio was the games’s third star — Johnston agreed Cam McCarrick “played really well, and I thought Brett Willsie, Kyle Vestby and Travis Flug had good games as well.”
“I thought we were disciplined in both games, and that’s a real step forward for us,” Johnston said.
Newest Gen, local forward Taylor Gary, was injured in the third period of his debut against Comox on Friday and should be back in the line-up Thursday.
The Generals have nine games remaining in their 42-game regular season. At this point it looks like Oceanside will face Kerry Park in the first round best-of-five.
The young Generals returned home coming off another tough loss to those dastardly Glacier Kings in Comox Friday night.
The second place ‘Kings (who are 27-8-0-1 and one point back of Victoria) have had Oceanside’s number this year, and sweeps their VIJHL regular season head-to-head having won all six games.
While Johnston conceded the sweep stings, “at the end of the day, that’s the opposite of what it was last year, and they beat us in the first round of the playoffs, so ...”
Winless in their last three games, the weekend drops the G-men to 17-14-0-2 on the season and fourth in the standings. Oceanside is 1-3 since the Christmas break and 3-6-0-2 going back to December 2.
The Generals are in Kerry Park Thursday and return home Saturday (7:30 p.m. start) for the back end of the home and home.