Oceanside’s short-benched Save-On-Foods Generals’ VIJHL campaign come to an end at the hands of the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Parksville Sunday.
The Generals, who lost game three of their best of seven series 8-3 Saturday night in Comox, took to the ice Sunday needing a win to stay alive, but the injury bug, which has plagued them all year, bit them one last time in a 6-1 loss.
Outmanned and overmatched with multiple starters out of the lineup, the red and white went out with a good effort in a game played on two different rinks.
Comox scored the only goal of the opening period 4:24, added two more in the second and were up 3-0 with 3:44 left when play was stopped to tend to a soccer ball sized hole just inside the visitors blue line knocked out by a Comox player’s skate as he fell to the ice after being checked. Arena staff and players spent about 10 minutes trying patch the crater, and with 3:44 left in the second period they decided to send the teams to the dressing rooms and tack the time on the start of the third.
The second intermission came and went the teams went back out on the ice and waited for another 10 minutes or so, but the head ref still wasn’t happy with the repair job so the people on the ice in the adjoining Victor Kraatz Arena were asked to leave and the VIJHL game and the fans moved in.
The delay didn’t derail the outcome though as the ‘Kings would tack on three more goals in the third before big Joe Chase, in his final year of junior hockey, broke the shutout bid at 16:20.
Comox outshot Oceanside 22-7 in the second period Sunday and 37-29 on the night, and it’s that advantage in shots on goals that most certainly paved the way for the sweep — over the four first round games Comox leveled 161 shots on the Generals’ goalies, whose teammates worked hard to muster 95 shots.
Comox won game one 4-1, game two 2-1, and rolled to an 8-3 win in Comox Saturday night to win the swing game, and nailed it down with another swarming team game — there were times during game seven it looked like Comox had too many men on the ice.
“It was weird, I’ve never been part of anything like that before. I was just hoping we could keep the momentum,” Glacier Kings’ head coach Bill Rotheisler said after of the ice issue.
“Overall I thought our team played a structured game all the way through (the series),” he said when asked his take on the sweep, adding “our focus wasn’t on one player — we didn’t key in on anybody in particular, we just made adjustments and played a really good team game. Everybody worked hard, forchecked hard, and stuck to the system.”
Comox will most likely face the Nanaimo Buccaneers in round two. Nanaimo leads their series against the Kerry Park Islanders 3-0, and word has it they have already faxed Comox the second round schedule.
Rotheisler said Oceanside goalie Alex Mastrodonato, 18, from Powell River, who was handed the starter’s role just before the playoffs, is “gunna be a player,” explaining his team hadn’t faced him much.
“He comes in and he made it tough on us. He made some big saves for his team that’s for sure. There’s some good players on Oceanside. Chase was a warrior.”
“I also thought the whole team showed a lot of class in the end not to turn it into anything that would cost us long term.”