The Oceanside Generals’ season came to an end after they fell 3-2 to the Nanaimo Buccaneers in Game 4 of their playoff series at Oceanside Place on Monday.
The Buccaneers swept the Generals 4-0 in the best-of-7 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series.
Fighting to extend their playoff run, the Generals played with urgency knowing they were in a do-or-die situation. They were physical and agitated the Buccaneers. But puck luck was not on their side. They had a couple of shots that hit the pipes in the first period while the Buccaneers managed to score the only goal in the frame on a power play by Trey Watson to grab the early lead.
Things didn’t go the Generals’ way in the second, as they gave up an easy goal by Booker Chacallas early and found themselves trailing 2-0. But they weren’t finished.
The Generals battled back and during a scramble inside the Nanaimo crease, Brady Kay was able to slide the puck past Buccaneers goalie Derek Krall to cut the lead by half.
In the final frame, Nanaimo dampened the spirits of the Generals a bit when they netted an insurance goal scored by Mathieu Jallabert on a power play at 7:50, to go up 3-1.
The Generals showed character by bouncing back and netting a power-play goal of their own, scored by Braeden Young. Trailing by just a point, the Generals pulled goalie Jacob Sweet with less than two minutes to play. They peppered Krall with shots but were not able to find the back of the net, and the game ended 3-2 for the Buccaneers.
Head coach Jesse Hammill said the Generals played as well as he expected them to on Monday night.
“They battled, we came back,” said Hammill. “They don’t quit. That’s probably the closest four-game series we’ve had in a long, long time. It was only four games but I think we took Nanaimo to the brink of what they had. A couple more bounces going our way; we hit the two posts in the first period. On Saturday that first opportunity goes amiss. I am super happy with the efforts these kids have given and we came up short.”
The two graduating Generals this season, Max Creighton and Brodie Smith, wanted to play another game against the Buccaneers.
“Nanaimo is a good team you got to give them all the credit,” said Creighton, who is planning to attend Vancouver Island University this coming school year. “They have a lot of good players, some who are good buddies of mine. Happy for them to move on. No hard feelings. We wanted to go as far as possible but it’s a building year and I am happy with the younger group that Brodie and I will be leaving behind here.”
Smith, who is planning to join the military, said, “it would have been great to get at least one win to push on the season and try to give ourselves that extra chance there. Our boys played hard but we just couldn’t get it done.”
The Generals were outshot 44-32 and were 1 for 7 on the power play. Generals goalie, Jacob Sweet stopped 41-shots in the loss.