The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals are now in a do-or-die situation after losing 4-2 against the Nanaimo Buccaneers in Game 3 of their VIJHL playoff series on Saturday night at home.
The Buccaneers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, and the Generals faced a must-win scenario in Game 4 on Monday night at Oceanside Place.
That game was played after The NEWS went to press; visit www.pqbnews.com and see Thursday’s edition for series updates.
The Generals had their chances at the start Saturday night. They came out strong both offensively and defensively to end the first period in a scoreless tie. But the Generals unravelled in the second period with a few lapses that the Bucs took advantage of, scoring three unanswered goals.
In the third period, the Generals got a break early when they were awarded a power play. But sloppy passing at the neutral zone led into a shorthanded goal by the Buccaneers that essentially sealed the Generals’ fate.
Although late in the period, with the game turning a bit chippy, the Generals were able to launch a comeback that generated back-to-back goals and foiled Buccaneers goalie Blake Wood’s chance at a shutout win.
“First period, we were really good,” said head coach Jesse Hammill. “We started the second period well where we’re banging the bodies, we’re giving it to them and putting the pressure on. Then we thought it was easy and it wasn’t good enough. If we could play like we did in the last five minutes, that would be great. But that was a tough one. There was no life on our bench.”
Goalie Spencer Deakin started for the Generals between the pipes and kept Oceanside in contention with some crucial saves. He turned away 39 of 43 shots and earned the first star of the game. Scorers for the Generals were Andre Sutter and Brodie Smith.
The Buccaneers were led by Billy Walters who had two goals, with former General Cam Nickerson and Dylan Hartl each netting a goal.
Hammill said the Generals needed to sort things out by Monday if they are to stay alive in the series.
“It’s down to them now,” said Hammill. “We have to execute and play a certain way. If we come on Monday and don’t, it’s going to be a disappointing ending to the season.”
The Buccaneers outshot the Generals 43-38 and were 0-for-5 on the power play while the Generals were 1-for-5.