Playoff make-or-break weekend for Generals

Tyson Taylor

The playoff picture is going to be much more clear for the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals after their games this weekend. Win and they still have a chance. Lose and they won’t be making the playoffs this season.

In a year that’s seen the team have its fair share of struggles, there is still a glimmer of hope for making the playoffs. If the Generals can win out their remaining five games and the Saanich Braves lose all their remaining games, the Generals will slide in to the last playoff spot by one point.

With two of their remaining five games coming against the Braves, this could shape up to be a wild finish for the Generals. But they need to start the streak this weekend against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings and the Victoria Cougars, the team with the best record in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

“It’s tough of course,” said Liam Peel, the 17-year-old from Qualicum Beach. “We haven’t really put ourselves in the best situation here but we know what we have to do and we just need to keep working away at it and see if we can win out the rest of the way here.”

The Generals have struggled all season to score goals, being outscored 2–1 on average. They haven’t faired well on the road either, winning just one away game this season. It’s something they know must improve if they will have a chance to squeak into the playoffs.

“If we can get everyone on board, get everyone playing to their best that they can in these last five games, we should have a pretty good chance of getting in,” said forward Wyatt Petryshen. “It’s a big hill to climb but we’re still mathematically in it so we can’t give up just yet.”

It’s been a season of change for the Generals with four different coaches having been behind the bench this season alone. Associate coach Rob Gaudreault has been on board all season and has seen the change first hand and feels it’s been a good learning experience for the team, something he hopes can be brought together to make that final push.

“It’s been different, that’s for sure,” Gaudreault said. “Each guy reacts differently to each coach but in the end, they’ve all bought in to the big picture. It’s been a learning curve for all of us, myself included. There’s lots of things they’ve picked up on and learned through the season from each coach so if we can somehow put it all together and work that way at the same time, there’s no telling what we can do as a team.”

Friday the Generals travel to Comox to take on the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and you can listen on 88.5 The Beach with Dominic Abassi. Saturday they are home for a 7:30 p.m.  puck drop at Oceanside Place against the Victoria Grizzlies.

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