VIJHL Playoffs — Generals lose first two games of series
WEB EXCLUSIVE UPDATE THURSDAY, FEB. 21: Generals lost game two at home 2-1 Wednesday night and now trail Comox in the best-of-seven series 2-0. What follows is a story written prior to game two.
Oceanside's Save-On-Foods Generals took to the ice at Howie Meeker Arena Wednesday night looking to get back on even footing in their VIJHL opening round playoff series against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
(See Tuesday's edition of The NEWS for a series update).
The best of seven opened Tuesday in Comox with the hosts taking it to the Generals in a 4-1 win. Comox outshot Oceanside by period including 20-2 in the third for a 46-19 edge on the night.
Cam McCarrick (Jesse Ursic, Michael Fretz) opened the scoring at 11:21 of the first period to stake Oceanside to a 1-0 lead, but Comox would counter with two of their own for a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, and added two unanswered goals in the second for a 4-1 lead after 40, and the two teams played to a scoreless third.
A fast-paced game with not a lot of penalty's, Comox was 1-for-4 on the power play; Oceanside 0-for-3.
Oceanside starter Alex Mastrodonato made 22 saves over the first 40 minutes before being replaced by backup Liam Giroux at the start of the third period, who was solid off the bench stopping all 20 shots he faced.
"I would say so," Oceanside head coach and GM Brent Demerais confirmed after when asked if his goalie's should be considering legal action against their D-men for lack of support. "If they don't tighten up on the back end it's going to be a short series."
"We shot ourselves in the foot in our own zone with a couple giveaways," the first year coach surmised, adding things weren't going Mastrodonato's way that night, "and we didn't have any puck luck either, but we have to think more defensively that's for sure. We can't be leaving the zone before we have total control of the puck -- we had too many guys cheating a bit, thinking too much offence ..."
The Generals, who still have local forward Matt Biagioni and defenseman Keenan McConnell on the shelf with injury until Saturday at least, suffered a blow Tuesday when they lost local forward James Sneddon, likely for the season, with a shoulder injury.
In the meantime, Demerais called up local AP Brodie Smith, a promising 15-year-old forward, for Wednesday's game (final score unavailable at press time) to help shore up the ranks.
"Other than that it's back to business," Demerais surmised Wednesday afternoon. "Tonight's game is huge."
Game 3 is in Comox Saturday night, and Game 4 in Parksville on Sunday (2 p.m. start).
Local goalie Kiefer Giroux made his debut with the Jr. A El Paso Rhinos of the WSHL last Sunday, making 34 saves and backstopping his new team to a 4-3 overtime win on home ice over the Boulder Bison in front of an announced crowd of 1,716.