It wasn’t a thing of beauty. But after seven straight losses over a two-week stretch, the Quality Foods Oceanside Generals will be happy to put Sunday’s 8-6 win over the Peninsula Panthers into the ‘W’ column.
“I don’t know what to say,” coach Gerry Bickerton said after watching the Generals (6-16-0-1) outscore the visiting Panthers in a wild Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game at Oceanside Place Arena.
“When you’ve lost your last seven games, any win is a good win.”
The Generals were coming off road losses of 5-2 in Victoria Thursday and 4-2 in Comox Saturday — both of which they led 2-0 in the second period.
“I told the guys before this one, in six of our last seven games we were up by a goal, tied, or down by one goal going into the third period,” said Bickerton.
“And we found a way not to win in all those games. They’ve been right there in almost every game; hopefully this will turn things around.”
Oceanside Generals forward Landon Dziadyk looks up ice after pilfering the puck from Peninsula’s Carson Cox during Sunday’s VIJHL game at Oceanside Place Arena. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS
Remarkably, Sunday’s offensive outburst was featured scoring from eight different players, including the first career junior goal by forward Koby Adams-Loitz.
Adams-Loitz gathered the puck in the slot after teammate Max Creighton won a faceoff in the Peninsula zone, then froze Panthers goalie Shawn Parkinson before gliding to his right and finding the open side of the net for a score that gave the Generals a 6-4 lead into the third period.
He was treated to the traditional first-goal ovation from the Oceanside bench and from a modest audience of about 100 fans.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Adams-Loitz, one of five players acquired by the Generals in a series of trades in October. “I think this win did a lot more for us than just end a losing streak. It will help everyone’s confidence, and now we can work on fixing the little things instead of worrying about getting the win.”
Newcomer Brent Koch opened the scoring, and the Gens also got goals from Taylor Olson, Landon Dziadyk, Stratton Pickett, Matthew Rokosh, Bekkam Willis and Brandon Roberge, who this week took over the team scoring lead with 27 points on 14 goals and 13 assists.
Goalie Brody Greggain stopped 38 of 44 shots for the win in net.
Peninsula fell to 4-17-0-3.
After a gruelling stretch of five games in nine days, the Generals now get a much-needed breather. The team will return to Oceanside Place Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Westshore Wolves, the Gens’ only remaining game in November.
Glacier Kings 4, Generals 2
Oceanside jumped out fast in Comox Saturday night, with a first-period goal by Landon Dziadyk and a score by Brandon Roberge staking the Gens to a 2-0 lead.
But the hosts countered with back-to-back power-play goals just 35 seconds apart to tie it later in the second, then pulled away while dominating the third period.
The Generals outshot Comox 23-20 through two periods, but managed just three shots on goal in the third. Oceanside also went 0-for-7 on the power play.
Dylan Paavola got the game-winner for the Glacier Kings (15-8-0-1) at 13:16 of the third, and the hosts put it away with an empty-net goal with eight seconds remaining.
Roberge took over the team scoring lead with his second goal in as many nights, and now has 25 points on a team-high 13 goals and 12 assists.
Caleb Griffin and Stratton Pickett each had assists for the Generals, who skated with 15 players. Wes Ellingsen gave up 25 goals on 29 shots to take the loss in net.
Cougars 5, Generals 2
First-period goals by Roberge and Max Creighton staked the fast-starting Gens to a 2-0 first-period lead Friday in Victoria, and Oceanside was still in the game until the South Division-leading Cougars (17-5-0-3) punched home two goals in the final 46 seconds of regulation.
Oceanside grabbed its early lead despite being outshot 13-7 in the first period, and may have actually played stronger the rest of the way — the visitors were even with Victoria in shots the rest of the way and actually enjoyed a 13-11 edge in the pivotal third period.
But Victoria evened the score with a pair of second-period goals, one on the power-play, and got the game-winner at 12:28 of the third. Another power-play goal with 46 seconds to play pushed the Cougars’ lead to 4-2, and Victoria added a final insurance tally 22 seconds later.
Griffin and Foster Martin contributed assists in the loss. Ellingsen stopped 30 of 35 shots in the loss.