Oceanside’s Save-On-Foods Generals brought their work boots to the rink last weekend and were rewarded with back-to-back VIJHL wins, taking out the Storm 8-6 in Campbell River Friday, and bouncing the Buccaneers 3-2 on home ice Saturday.
In action at ‘the Place for another exciting North Division showdown, the mid-Island rivals skated to a scoreless tie in a fast-paced physical first, and the pace carried right through to overtime.
Nanaimo went up 1-0 1:02 into to the second and Quinlan Moore (Matthew Biagioni, Marino Somerville) scored a 1:35 after that and Biagioni (Jesse Ursic, Somerville) put the Gens up 2-1 at 5:22. Nanaimo got one to go at 9:41 to knot it at 3-3, which is how it stood after 40 minutes.
“They worked hard — they met the challenge I thought. Especially against Nanaimo,” Gens’ head coach and GM Brent Demerais. “Both were very entertaining games — hard hitting, and outstanding goal-tending on Saturday night.”
The two teams played to a scoreless third in a classic goalies duel — Nanaimo outshot the Generals 13-8, 22-15, and 12-10 by period but the Gens had the 4-1 edge in extras.
Recently acquired forward Thanvir Bandesha scored the winner for Oceanside at 4:38 into overtime and was named the Games first star; Biagioni, 18, from Parksville, who at 5’9” and 146 pounds may not be the biggest player on the ice, has been playing as fearless as he is creative, earned second, and home grown goalie Kiefer Giroux’s sparkling 46-save performance earned him third star.
“Kiefer had a great game,” Demerais confirmed of his starting ‘tender, adding “he made an unreal save in the second period that had people shaking their heads. He came across the crease and he made a pad save to stone the guy. It was one of the better saves I’ve seen in a long long time.”
“Everybody was pretty happy,” the first year skipper confirmed when asked the mood in the dressing room after beating the North Division’s first place Buccaneers.
Oceanside’s penalty kill continues to stonewall the opposition — the ‘Bucs were 0-for-6 with the man advantage. Conversely, the Gens were 0-for-5 on the PP.
Oceanside took the only three penalties of the opening frame in which they played short-handed for eight full minutes.
IN CAMPBELL RIVER against the Storm Friday night the Generals kept their foot on the gas and snapped a three game losing streak in a wide-open 8-6 win. The hosts went up 1-0 3:50 into the game but the Generals replied with three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. Oceanside struck for four gaols in the second and CR scored three for a 7-4 Oceanside lead after 40 minutes.
The Storm scored twice in the final frame and Oceanside added one more to nail down the win.
Michael Fretz and Adam Robertson struck for two goals apiece in that one with singles by Cole Schneider, Nick Kapusty, Somerville and Ursic.
The two wins lifts the Generals to 17-19-2 and tied for second in the North with Comox at 36 points apiece — nine points back of the Division leading Buccaneers who are 21-14-3 and tied with the Westshore Wolves for third overall in the 9-team Jr. B league.
GAME ON: The Generals are in Victoria Thursday to tangle with the first place Cougars and return home Sunday to host the Kerry Park Islanders (2:30 p.m. puck drop).
ICE CHIPS: Demerais made his coaching debut at a VIJHL All Star Classic played out Sunday at Howie Meeker Arena, behind the bench for Team North in the Prospects Game.
“It was really good, I enjoyed it,” he said, adding “It was really well organized and I think the executive of the club should be pat’n themselves on the back for the job that they did. The games were really good, especially the All Star Game. There were some good hockey payers out there, they had a good crowd, and there were some big saves in that game as well.”
Team South won the Prospects Game 9-6, and Team North won the All Star game 4-1. Check out Thursday’s edition of The NEWS sports section for a complete recap of this year’s Classic.