Stratton Pickett had a goal and an assist Thursday but the Quality Foods Oceanside Generals fell just short in a 4-2 loss to the Nanaimo Buccaneers in their final road game of the 2016-17 regular season.
The Generals host their annual awards banquet Friday evening at Thalassa Restaurant in Qualicum Beach, then close out the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League campaign with a 7:30 p.m. matchup Saturday against Kerry Park at Oceanside Place.
Oceanside will then host Peninsula Monday at 7:30 in a one-game playoff to determine the league’s final qualifier for its postseason quarterfinal series.
Thursday at Nanaimo Ice Centre, the Generals recovered after being outshot 16-4 in the opening period. With goaltender Wes Ellingsen stopping 28 of 31 shots, Oceanside (11-33-1-2) closed to 3-2 when Caleb Griffin converted off assists from Pickett and Topher Harding at 1:33 of the third period.
But Nanaimo (30-15-0-1) finally put the issue to rest with an empty-net, power-play goal with 38 seconds left to play.
The host Bucs carried a 2-0 lead into the closing seconds of the second period before Pickett scored off a Blake McCulloch assist at 19:56 to make it 2-1.
Nanaimo restored the two-goal lead on Billy Walters’ score in the opening minute of the third, but Griffin matched it just 37 seconds later. Nanaimo hung on even as the Generals enjoyed a 12-7 shots on goal advantage in the final period.
— NEWS Staff