Oceanside Generals goalie Tanner Douglas gets his blocker on a close-range shot by Comox Valley’s Jake McKenzie during the Generals’ 5-3 VIJHL win Sunday afternoon at Oceanside Place Arena.

Captain’s return sparks Generals in 5-3 win

Logan Savard returns from three-month injury layoff to help Junior hockey team snap four-game losing streak

Logan Savard may not be the flashiest skater on the ice, but his return after three months lost to injury was plenty sweet for the Quality Foods Oceanside Generals Sunday afternoon.

Savard, the team captain, scored two goals and an assist and newly acquired goalie Tanner Douglas carried a shutout into the final six minutes of play as the Generals beat the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 5-3 before 140 fans at Oceanside Place Arena.

Caleb Griffin snapped a scoreless tie in the final minute of the second period and Savard made it 2-0 with his first goal 20 seconds into the third as the Generals (7-20-0-1) ended a four-game Vancouver Island Hockey League losing streak.

“The first goal in that game was huge, because it was a 0-0 game for so long,” said Savard, who had been out since breaking a wrist in the team’s home opener against Westshore on Sept. 10. “And that start of the third period, getting that second goal, that started getting the wheels going for the guys.”

Oceanside would push its lead to 4-0 before a turnover in its own end allowed Willie Daigneault to break in alone on Douglas for the Glacier Kings’ first score.

“Tanner was fantastic tonight,” Generals coach Gerry Bickerton said of the 18-year-old from Winnipeg, who was picked up after being cut by the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Junior (A) Hockey League. “I actually felt like he wasn’t going to let one in. The rebounds were going either up into the net or into the corners or he was smothering them. There was just no threat there all night, even though they put up 30-plus shots.”

Oceanside Generals captain Logan Savard, centre, celebrates a goal Sunday with teammates Landon Dziadyk and Owen McDonald. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS

Griffin’s goal at 19:17 of the second period came after Comox Valley (16-12-0-2) peppered Douglas with shots during a pair of power plays followed by an extended attack in the Generals’ zone. During a battle behind Glacier Kings netminder Marcus Gloss, Griffin collected a pass from Matt Rokosh and faked a move toward the left post before reversing course and sweeping in a wraparound at the right post.

“At first I knew it was a tough battle, until we started opening up the scoring,” said Douglas. “I tried to hold the boys in there as long as I could. They got the momentum they needed and scored a lot of goals, so that was good.”

After Savard’s goal to start the third period made it 2-0, Taylor Olson rifled home a blast from the point at 8:16 and Parksville’s Owen McDonald one-timed a crossing pass from Landon Dziadyk of Qualicum Beach to make it 4-0 at 10:47.

After Daigneault’s breakaway score for Comox, Savard punched home his second shot from short range, off Dziadyk’s third assist of the game.

“If I can bang one in here or there, I love to do that,” Savard said. “But I sort of love to bang bodies, make it hard for the other team to play against us, and make room for my line mates.”

The Generals return home for back-to-back games this weekend, hosting Kerry Park Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Campbell River Sunday at 2:30 p.m. before traveling for a rematch against Comox Valley Monday at 7 p.m.

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