The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals snapped their four-game losing skid with a 4-2 win last Thursday over the Nanaimo Buccaneers in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League play.
Logan Savard had a three-point night with two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist to lead the charge on offence for the Generals. Also scoring for the Generals were Brandon Roberge, who tallied his first VIJHL goal, and Sebastian Powsey, who had been out of the lineup the last few games as a healthy scratch for the Generals and was playing as a forward instead of joining the Gens lineup as a defenseman.
Goaltender Brandon Ward stood tall in net for the Gens, turning aside 43 of the 45 shots he faced.
In the last three games he’s started, Ward has seen more than 150 shots in net for the Generals but he finally managed to pick up his first win in 13 outings for the team this season.
“It’s nice to see him finally get one,” captain Cam Nickerson said. “Wardo works hard in practice and competes hard in games too; it’s tough when you’ve got a guy like that in net and we can’t do much to help him out. We found a way on Thursday night to make it happen, though, and I thought our goaltending was what made the difference that night.”
Whenever these two teams get together, it’s a rough-and-tumble affair. With just 10 penalties called in the game, three of which went to the Generals, the chances to bury the Bucs on the power play were there for the Generals but they weren’t able to make it happen.
The Generals were without forward Brodie Smith, who had received a call-up from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL to play both Thursday and Friday night against the Victoria Grizzlies. With Smith having been on a tear since his return to the Generals, the scoring had to come from another source. It was found in Savard, who now has six points (four goals, two assists) in eight games. Forward Landon Dziadyk also had two assists on the night for the Gens.
“It was good to see guys stepping up,” Nickerson said. “When you can have guys scoring who aren’t on the top two lines, that really boosts their confidence and allows them to see they can be relied on when it comes to chipping in offensively, too. We’re a young team, so any time the younger guys can get in on the scoring, it’s always great to see.”
Saturday night the Generals hosted the Kerry Park Islanders (score not available at press time) in their last game before the Christmas break. Though they still sit at the bottom of the VIJHL standings, the Generals have already surpassed their total wins from last season and sit just five points behind the 8th-place Saanich Braves and eight points behind the Comox Valley Glacier Kings for 3rd in the North Division.
“We’re on the right track,” Nickerson said. “This is a completely different team this season and it’s showing on the ice. The break will help us charge our batteries and hopefully we can be even better in the New Year.”