It’s a must-win situation for the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals as they fight off elimination from the VIJHL playoffs after falling in game three to the Campbell River Storm 5-1.
The Gens now trail the best of seven series 3–0 and need to win tonight (7:30 p.m., Oceanside Place) to stay alive. The Gens beat the Storm once in eight regular season games, a 4-3 win in overtime.
The goal and shot totals have been rather lopsided in favour of the Storm, who’ve out shot the Gens 158 to 68 and outscored them 19-4.
“The only thing we can do is play a short game,” head coach Rob Gaudreault said. “We need to keep our passes short, bunch up the neutral zone and play some desperate hockey. We need to try and control the game and put together a full game of hockey. We can’t afford to have a break at all against the Storm. If we do, they’re going to make you pay.”
Goaltender David Anderson has been busy the last four games, including the wild card game, facing a lot of shots. Anderson has made 195 saves off 216 shots in those four most recent starts, for a save percentage of .902
“Any shot is a good shot at this point for us,” Gaudreault said. “We have to stop trying to beat guys one on one. If we can get the puck in deep and get to it first, we can set ourselves up for higher percentage shots. Where the problem comes is that we aren’t following our game plan and that’s the biggest problem for us as a team.”
The Gens know it’s a must win game tonight, and forward Travis Flug knows it’s going to be a tough test.
“We need to come out ready to play,” Flug said. “It’s pretty obvious we aren’t playing the way we know that we can. We need to listen to what the coaches are telling us and keep it simple. We need to be the team that comes out wanting to win and make sure we have everyone buying in.”
Defenceman David Biagioni was on the receiving end of a massive hit from Reece Costain of The Storm, which left Biagioni motionless on the ice after going back first into the boards. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher and released from hospital Sunday morning with “some bruised ribs, pulled back muscles and a banged up knee,” according to the team’s Facebook account.
Captain Gibson Doney stood up for Biagioni and his teammates, dropping the gloves with Costain in a heated battle.
“It was good to see Doney stand up for us,” forward Matthieu Jallabert said. “He’s a guy we can count on to be a leader out there and he did just that for everyone on the team.”