As reported Tuesday, the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals landed a couple big signings last week, and for Qualicum Beach’s Kade Pilton, the decision to come play for the home team was easy.
At 6’5”, 200 pounds, the homegrown defenceman played 72 games in the WHL (43 of those with the Victoria Royals), and is a valuable addition to a Generals team thin on experience.
The Gens also signed 6’1” 185 pound forward Carl Provencher from Quebec last week.
Pilton, a Kwalikum Secondary grad and good friends with a number of the Generals, played his first two games with the town team last weekend, and talked to The NEWS after Sunday’s loss to the Glacier Kings.
“I think the last two games the score didn’t really show how we played,” he surmised. “I thought we outplayed them today; we just didn’t get enough shots on net to manufacture goals.”
“I think I can just bring a little bit of advice,” Pilton, who turns 19 in October and steps right in as an assistant captain, said of his role with the team. “I’ve played for some coaches that have been in the NHL and that have a lot of good things to say, so if I can help the guys out here in any way.”
“It’s just the little things really,” the big blue-liner said when asked his take on the Gens’ current winless streak. “It’s attention to detail that they have in the WHL. Every play has to be perfect — there’s just a small margin for error.”
Bet it the Dub or the VIJHL, though, the goal is always to win.
“Exactly. You just want to prepare your best for every game,” he said. “Preparation is such a big part of hockey, and if you’re not ready to go every night like the last couple (games) here, that’s what happens.”
Pilton said the plan is to stay close to home and “help the guys win some games, and have some fun.”
“They’re huge additions to the team,” Generals’ secretary Elizabeth Cudmore said of the two signings.
“Huge,” echoed Gens’ interim head coach Rob Gaudreault.
“It was super-tough,” Generals’ president/governor Sylvain Giroux said Sunday when asked about the decision to release head coach Brent Demerais. “I’ve become real good friends with Brent. I like the guy. It was not something I wanted to do (but) the boys seem to be positive (about the news), and that’s all I care about.”
Giroux said the team is currently putting together a list of potential head coaches, with Gaudreault included on the list.
Winless in their last five games, the 1-8-1 Generals have their work cut out for them this week as they face the VIJHL’s top two teams, both undefeated at 8-0.
The Gens are in Victoria Thursday to tangle with the South Division leading Cougars, and return home Saturday to face the Nanaimo Buccaneers in a big North Division match-up. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
Nanaimo has two players in the Top 10 in league scoring. Victoria and Oceanside are not on the list.
This week’s opponents ice the two top rated goalies in the league (both of which have faced less than half the amount of rubber that Gens’ rookie Liam Giroux has). Victoria and nanaimo are also rated one-two on special teams — the Generals are currently sitting last in both the power play and penalty kill.
Oceanside went into last weekend being outshot, on average, 47-30 per game.
The team will be hosting a free Skate With the Generals on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 2-3:30 p.m. in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.