Generals have seven games left to climb league

Oceanside team still at the bottom, but playing well and fighting hard, according to their coach

Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals forward Ethan Sundstrum puts one past Campbell River Storm goaltender Jake Mullen but rings it off the crossbar during action Saturday night. The Gens would lose the closely contested game by a score of 5-3.

The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals are one step closer to moving out of the basement of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League after a 6-3 win against Peninsula last week.

Down 2-1 heading into the third period against the Peninsula Panthers, the Oceanside Generals exploded for five goals, riding their offensive charge to a 6-3 win.

Mathieu Jallabert (one goal, two assists) and Sebastian Powsey (two goals, one assist) each had three points to lead the way for the Generals.

With the win, the Generals now sit  two points behind the Saanich Braves for eighth place in the VIJHL.

With only seven games remaining on the league schedule this season there is still a chance the Generals could catch the Comox Valley Glacier Kings for third place in the North Island division. But the Parksville team is going to need some help to do so.

Saturday night, the Generals had a chance to make up more ground but lost a very close, tightly played game against the Campbell River Storm.

The game was entertaining to say the least, with teams trading goals and tied 3-3 to start the third period. The Campbell River team would score early in the third period to pull ahead 4-3 and added an empty net goal for the 5-3 win on the evening.

“I like the fact that we battled,” head coach Brad Knight said.

“When you can lose a game with only two or three mistakes in a game, that’s a good game to lose,” Knight said.

“I thought we played a good 60 minutes of hockey. We’ve got some guys who can play now on our roster and all the signs are positive. We go down 3-2 and we don’t quit, these guys have some resolve and I’m really proud of the hockey they’re playing right now.”

As it stands right now there are just 10 points that separate the Generals and Glacier Kings, who will square off this Saturday night in the Comox Valley.

The Oceanside Generals will have to win their share of the remaining games on the road, as two of their last seven games will be at home at Oceanside Place in Parksville.

“We’ve just got to keep working hard,” captain Cam Nickerson said. “We’ve got a great atmosphere in the room right now and I feel we’ve got lots of good hockey left to play here.”

“Guys are wanting it out there, they’re not expecting to have ice time handed to them, they want to earn it so that’s really good to see. We’ve come together as a team in a short amount of time since the trade deadline, so we just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing and keep up the hard work.”

With seven of their 11 wins this season coming away from their home Howie Meeker Arena, the Generals have a better road record on the season.

The team needs to continue that away success if they hope to catch Comox Valley for third in the North division to set up a first round playoff match against the Nanaimo Buccaneers.

“We’ve been playing good lately,” forward Landon Dziadyk said. “We’re having fun, which is good. We’re making a push to try and get that third spot, it’s gonna be close but I think we can do it.”

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