Former Oceanside Generals forward Max Creighton has rejoined the club as one of its assistant coaches. (PQB News file photo)

Former Oceanside Generals forward Max Creighton has rejoined the club as one of its assistant coaches. (PQB News file photo)

Ex-player Creighton returns to VIJHL Oceanside Generals as an assistant coach

‘I am happy to be back here’

Former Oceanside Generals forward Max Creighton is back to help the team but in a different role.

The Nanaimo product has rejoined the Generals as one of the club’s assistant coaches. It’s a position he’s extremely keen to have, after playing with the team for three seasons in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League from 2015-2018.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Creighton, who last season started his career behind the bench as an assistant coach with the Nanaimo Buccaneers. “I am happy to be back here. I had a fun and somewhat successful junior career here. I know a lot of the staff and volunteers. So it’s an easy transition to come back.”

During his playing years, Creighton displayed good leadership on and off the ice, attributes that convinced head coach Dan Lemmon to add to his coaching staff.

“Max is a good guy in the dressing room,” said Lemmon. “He’s a young guy who can relate to the kids really well and he’s eager to learn.”

The 23-year-old played a total of 132 games for the Generals. He tallied a total of 26 goals, 55 assists and 265 penalty minutes.

Following his stint in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, he was recruited by the Vancouver Island University Mariners hockey team.

Creighton is still attending school at VIU and is taking a business course. But he has aspirations of one day becoming a head coach. He aims to take advantage of working as an assistant coach and gain as much experience as he can get.

“All of this is a learning experience for me,” said Creighton. “I am going to absorb everything I can under Dan (Lemmon).”

Creighton is set on helping the Generals this season reach the goal they’ve been working for in the last couple of years.

The Generals’ playoff run last season was disrupted by COVID-19. It denied the club the chance to compete for the North Division title and also the possibility of advancing to play for a VIJHL championship.

“I just want to help the Generals to stay competitive and hopefully aim for a VIJHL championship,” said Creighton. “It’s great that I can give back and share whatever have I gained from my playing days here.”

Last weekend, the Generals split both their VIJHL games against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.

On Friday, Oct. 9, the Quality Foods Oceanside Generals suffered their first loss of the season when the Glacier Kings edged them 3-2.

After a scoreless first period, the Generals took the lead on Miles Carson’s power-play marker at 3:48 of the second game.

The Glacier Kings put up quite a fight and late in the period Adam Sylvester event things at 1-1.

They went on to score two more on goals by Jordan Neufeld and Khale Skinner and held the Generals scoreless until the last second of the final frame, with Carson scoring his second goal of the night.

READ MORE: NHL hit with criticism over Enlish-only version of ‘O Canada’ on Saturday

The next day, it was the Generals’ turn to host the Glacier Kings at Oceanside Place. It was again a very tight game with neither team scoring in the first.

In the second, the Generals grabbed the lead on Dawson Heathcote’s goal. This time the Generals did not let up and went on to shut out the Glacier Kings for the rest of the game. Bruce Avender and Jacob Thomas each netted a goal to give the Generals a 3-0 win.

Ashton Sadauskas earned the win between the pipes and his first shutout of the season, turning away 19 shots.

The Generals are currently 3-1 in the North Division standings and are tied with Campbell River Storm (3-1) in first place. The teams meet this week.

On Friday, Oct. 16, the Generals head to Rob Brind’Amour Arena to face the Storm and the next day they will face the Storm at home at Oceanside Place at 7 p.m.

No spectators are allowed to watch the games at this time due to COVID-19 pandemic.

ICE CHIPS: The Generals have added another blue-liner, Breaden Leary, a Nanaimo product who played for the Nanaimo Midget AAA Clippers last season. He scored five goals and had 15 helpers.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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