The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals were looking to enter the Christmas break on a two game winning streak when they took on the Kerry Park Islanders last Saturday night.
Former General Tanner Browne had other plans, as the defenseman notched a hat trick, leading the way for the Islanders as they beat the Gens 5-3. Cam Nickerson, Brodie Smith and Brandon Roberge all scored for the Generals in the loss.
“This team has to learn to work hard,” Oceanside head coach Brad Knight said. “It’s all about attitude. We’ve got guys coming back into the lineup who think everything’s going to come easy to them because they’ve got talent.
“Everyone thinks there’s some special formula and that it’s all about skill, but it comes down to working hard. All we had to do was show up and work hard in this game and I think we would have had more success. You earn your breaks and you earn your chances, you don’t get that if you don’t work hard.”
In a game in which the Generals could have made up ground on the two teams ahead of them in the standings, they weren’t able to grab another two points to move that much closer from the bottom of the league.
“That was our worst loss to date, in my opinion,” Knight said. “It’s the toughest loss this season for sure. It was a game that we should have won; we had a full roster and we’ve got Comox in our sights. Definitely the biggest loss on the season, I feel.”
The Generals had Brodie Smith back in the lineup Saturday after Smith was called up to the BCHL for two games with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
Missing from the roster on Saturday night, however, was defenceman Josh Harvey. The Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL called up Harvey for a few games during the Spruce Kings road trip on Vancouver Island.
With the Generals still sitting at the bottom of their division and the overall league standings, Knight hopes to see a little more competing from his team come the New Year, as well as that hard work he’s been hoping to see on a consistent basis.
“I want to see guys who want to be here, be here,” Knight said. “The guys who think they’re too good, don’t be here. If you’re going to be here, I just want to see you play hard, that’s it. You’ve got to want to be part of this team and show it on and off the ice.
“Hopefully some guys will make some big decisions over the break and realize they’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
With three cards remaining for roster moves coming out of the Christmas break, there’s a good chance the Generals could be making a few more moves before the trade deadline.
“Absolutely,” Knight said. “We’ve got three cards left to make some moves and we’ll make sure we use those to make our team better where we need to.”