Just past the halfway point in the VIJHL pre-season, the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals are finding out what their team is made of and are in the process of trimming down their roster.
Last night’s game against the Nanaimo Buccaneers (score not available at press time) was game number two of five exhibition games the Generals will have before they kick off their 25th anniversary season.
After their first game against the Buccaneers last Friday, a 4-1 victory, it was back to business at practice as players are still trying to do what they can to ensure a spot on the Generals roster for the season.
“I thought everyone played very well,” general manager Rob Gaudreault said.
“We played a disciplined game, stayed away from all the rough stuff that Nanaimo was trying to goad us into and were able to play the sort of game we wanted to play. Hopefully we’ll see more of the same along the way as we build towards the start of the regular season.”
With a good number of players still with the team as of Tuesday night, including six players that are away at Junior A training camps, the Generals are looking to trim their roster down to 22 players to start the season.
“There’s lots to take into consideration,” Gaudreault said. “There’s lots of players who will get a look at the next level but could be let go, so having room on a roster for those kind of players is something that every team looks for.”
“We’d feel comfortable having 22 players under our roster but that could all change between now and the start of our season.”
“Sometimes players have a tendency to change the minds of those making these sort of decisions and we’ve definitely got a few players here that could very well do that.”
One of the positions that the Generals have plenty of players at is in between the pipes, as both David Anderson and Austin Caktas could potentially be back with the team this season.
Both Anderson and Caktas, along with first year hopeful Austin Beauchamp, are currently at a Junior A camp and there are four more goaltenders looking to crack the roster with the Generals still in town.
“It’s a good problem to have,” Gaudreault said. “Having that many goalies, including the two returnees, is something that you don’t usually get to have.”
“Being able to take a good look at what we’ve got here will benefit us. There’s no secret that goal tending goes a long way and we’ve got a good number of goalies, all of who have looked good so far, that are looking to make our team.”
“It’s a good amount of competition and we’re happy to have these guys going at it out there.”
The Generals are back in action tomorrow night on the road against the Campbell River Storm and then return home to face the Westshore Wolves on Saturday night, 7:30 puck drop scheduled at Oceanside Place.