Sports

Oceanside Generals practice to improve season

Home grown goalie Kiefer Giroux has stepped into the role of starter with the Oceanside Generals. -  James Clarke photo
Home grown goalie Kiefer Giroux has stepped into the role of starter with the Oceanside Generals.
— image credit: James Clarke photo

With only one game on tap this week, Oceanside’s Save-On-Foods Generals have been busy putting in some quality practice time, and head coach and GM Brent Demerais says he likes what he’s seeing.

“We’re having a really good week of practices, and we’re a lot better health wise this week then we were last week I know that,” he said.

Home grown forward James Snedden is expected to be back in the lineup after missing four games with a upper body injury. Sniper Taylor Gray returned to the lineup last weekend after missing three games with a foot injury, “and we had a couple guys that were playing banged up that are feeling a lot better.”

On the subject of his goal tending — minding the twine for Oceanside this year is homegrown Kiefer Giroux, 18, as the starter and backup Alex Mastrodonato from Powell River, also 18 — Demerais said he’s got full confidence in his keepers.

“They’re working hard at keeping our goals against down which is key for us — I mean combined they allowed three goals in three games last weekend and in this league that’s pretty good.”

Thus far Demerais said he’s been trying to play them to a 2-1 ratio because he’s a big believer in making sure the backup gets enough games in so that hes ready if called upon down the stretch.

The fact that Keifer is a local boy doesn’t factor into game day decision, he said.

“I have no pressure from anybody who I start. I came in here to do a job, and I make the call. They get along really well, they practice really well together. There’s no goalie controversy here whatsoever. Keifer’s been in the league and he’s a veteran. He’s got Jr. A experience,” Demerais said when asked what Giroux brings to the rink. “He’s a kid that’s really matured, and he’s one of the leaders on the team right now. Even when he’s not playing he’s very vocal and always very positive. His attitude is unreal, and he’s one of the hardest workers both on the ice and in the gym with Rick at Genesis.

“You know a kid’s focused when he looks you in the eye when you’re talk’n, and he does.”

Keifer, 18, who employs a butterfly-style and currently posts a save percentage of .894 on a team that has struggled on defense so far this season, “has got quick feet, he sees the ice really well, and he’s got the good glove.”

GAME ON:  The Generals are in Comox Saturday night against the Glacier Kings, looking to extend their win streak to four games.

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