The Oceanside Generals didn’t go past the first round of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs, having been swept 4-0 by the formidable Nanaimo Buccaneers. But the Generals had a lot to be proud of this season, the team’s head coach said.
While they didn’t go far in the playoffs, head coach Jesse Hammill said in some ways the Generals came close to achieving some of their goals this year.
Hammill said making it to the playoffs was one of the highlights this season. They were aiming to go far but fell short. They won 18 games with one tie, which Hammill indicated was close enough to the 20 wins they targeted at the start of the season. Overall, Hammill said, he is pleased with the team’s effort.
“It’s been a hell of a ride for the whole organization, on and off the ice,” said Hammill.
“There’s been nothing but positives. In the handshakes when opposing players are telling you you’ve done a great job here and they’re really impressed with what you’ve done, that really means a lot.”
Hammill said he was proud to have young players perform beyond their years. He is hoping that some of them would end up moving to the next level.
“That’s the achievement,” said Hammill. “It doesn’t stop here. This is just the first pit and the next pit is getting them to junior A. If that happens, then it has really been a successful year.”
The Generals organization recognized some of its players in an awards banquet held just before the season ended.
Three Generals’ scholarships worth $500 were each awarded to Ryan Rae-Arthur, who will be attending North Island Collegue for a construction course; Max Creighton, who will be pursuing a business degree majoring in marketing at Vancouver Island University; and Andre Sutter, who has been accepted to UBC in the commerce program.
Generals named to the VIJHL all-star selections include defencemen Rae-Arthur and Kyle Boshier, forwards Greyson Weme, Brady Kay and Creighton, and goalie Jacob Sweet.
This season’s most valuable player was Sweet, who literally was the Generals’ last line of defence, saving the team from getting buried deeper in a number of games. He posted 13 wins, 14 losses, and tie during the regular season, with a save percentage of 91 per cent.
Rookie of the year was Weme, who ranked second on the Generals’ scoring list in the regular season with 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points.
The Kyle Ireland Broadcaster’s Choice Award was presented to Creighton, who has played 137 games for the Generals to rank third in the club for the highest number of games played. He was also named this year’s top forward after leading the Generals in scoring with 17 goals and 11 assists for 28 points.
The coaches’ choice award was shared by Sutter and Kay, who also won the Norm Gould award. This year’s fan favourite was Boshier, who also received the unsung hero award, while the best teammate award went to Rae-Arthur, who was also named the Generals’ top defenceman.
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