The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals earned their third win of the season with a strong effort from goalie Austin Caktas and two goals each from both Kyle Wade and Chase Gaudreault.
It was a quick start for the Gens, who had been looking to break the habit of getting off to a slow start. They played a solid game on Saturday night after a 5-2 loss to the Victoria Cougars last Thursday, beating the Nanaimo Buccaneers 4-2.
The win snapped a nine game winless skid (eight losses, one tie) for the Gens, giving them their first win since September. The game winning goal came in a power play when Wade managed to put one past Bucs goalie Liam Young with just two minutes left in the game.
“It felt good to get the game winner. Real good,” forward Wade said. “Coach put me out there on the power-play and I was able to put the puck in the back of the net. It’s great to be able to help the team out and I think that scoring that first goal really goes a long way in helping us have a different mindset about the game.”
Wade, who now has four goals in his last three games, got things started with a short handed goal giving the Gens the lead midway through the first period.
In the three games the Gens have scored first this season, they’ve gone on to win. It’s something the team knows it needs to work on and the effort paid off.
“It’s a big confidence booster, playing with the lead instead of playing from behind,” forward Sebastian Powsey said. “It gave us a good, positive flow through the game and I think that started even before the game, keeping it loose in the locker room but not too loose. We tried to keep it positive all game and that really worked well for us.”
The Gens had timely goaltending from Austin Caktas, who picked up his first victory on the season as a member of the Generals. Caktas hasn’t seen much playing time but has shown he’s more than capable of backstopping the team to victory when called upon.
“Austin finally got a good chance to show what he can do,” Kessler said.
“For a variety of different reasons, he hasn’t really had a chance to show what kind of a goalie he really is. He played excellent for us and gave the team and the fans a chance to see just how good of a goalie he really is and can be.”
The Gens have a full week of practice ahead of their next game Friday night in Comox against the Glacier Kings (7 p.m.). The same teams will battle it out Saturday night back at Oceanside Place, 7:30 p.m.