The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals head to the Nanaimo Ice Centre looking for their first win of the season tonight against the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
Playing their second straight game against the Bucs, the Generals will look to put a win on the board after they played to a 3-3 tie this past weekend in front of 800-plus fans at Oceanside Place in Parksville.
“We were very pleased with the turnout we had,” general manager Rob Gaudreault said. “We’ve got great fans here in the Oceanside area and it really showed how excited the fans were to see this team in action last weekend. Hopefully we can give them something to be excited about every time we step on the ice and it will keep them coming back every home game we have.”
In their first game last weekend against the Buccaneers, it was the Generals outshooting 49-27. The Generals also played a disciplined game, heading to the penalty kill only once the entire game.
The power play was a different story, where the Generals had five chances with the man advantage, managing to cash in once out of those five times. But it was two short-handed goals from the Bucs’ Trent Bell that sent the Gens reeling early on.
“Yeah that was tough,” Generals captain Chandler Bruyckere said. “Giving up those two shorthanded goals was something you don’t hope to see when you’re on the power play but it was great to see us keep our heads through it. We managed to put it aside and kept on grinding away and we kept the pressure on for the rest of the game. There were definitely some nerves out there for us but we settled it down and found the game we wanted to play. We just wanted that win and couldn’t quite get it.”
There has been a noticeable improvement through the pre-season and the first two regular season games from the first year players suiting up for the Generals.
With three 16 year-olds in the lineup, each minute of each game gives them more experience and more confidence as they look to prove themselves throughout the season.
“We’ve liked what we’ve seen so far,” Gaudreault said. “We have five players in total that are in their first season here in the VIJHL, three of those five being 16 year-olds.
“So we’ve got some youth in the lineup, which is really great to see. They were all kids playing for a shot on this team and they all played their way on to our roster. It remains to be seen how well they’re going to develop but it’s been good so far.”
Following their game tonight, which is a 7:15 p.m. puck drop and can be heard on 88.5 The Beach with Dominic Abassi, the Generals will return home on Saturday night for a tilt with the Saanich Braves.
Puck drop is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Oceanside Place’s Howie Meeker Arena.