The local Save–On–Foods Oceanside Generals’ season has come to a close, losing in the wild card game to the Saanich Braves on Sunday evening.
There was still a chance the Generals could slide into the playoffs through the back door, like they did last season, but their efforts came up just short in a 3-2 loss to the Braves.
Generals’ Captain Cam Nickerson had a goal and an assist, while forward Ethan Sundstrum had two helpers in the game as well.
Defenseman Bekkam Willis scored the other goal for the Generals, who couldn’t quite find the back of the net a third time to tie the game in hopes of extending their season.
“It’s a tough loss for us,” Nickerson said. “We had a few chances to win this one and we couldn’t quite capitalize on them. It’s tough when that happens, but that’s the way the game goes sometimes. Some nights you’re the ones that get those bounces and other nights you’re not.”
The game on Sunday evening marked the third straight game in three days for the Generals, having to travel south to the Greater Victoria area twice for games.
“Nobody was really at an advantage or disadvantage,” Knight said. “Saanich had four games in five days and we played three games in three days.”
“The only difference is we had to travel and they got to play at home.”
Sunday’s game was a turnaround for the Generals after their final home game on Saturday night, which saw some highly questionable calls for both teams, leaving players and coaches shaking their heads throughout various points in the game.
“That was one of the poorest officiated games I’ve seen in a long time,” Knight said. “It was awful, the worst game I’ve seen in 25 years.”
“It was really bad and really frustrating but our guys handled it well. We could have mailed that game in but they worked hard and I’m really proud of the effort they gave in that one.”
Friday night the Generals took on the Peninsula Panthers, where they found themselves in a big hole, down 4-0, after the first period.
Nickerson and 20-year-old Quinlan Moore would make it 4-2 after two periods of play.
The third period was a different story, with Nickerson scoring three straight goals in the period, bringing the Generals back to life.
Bekkam Willis would go on to score his first VIJHL goal in overtime, giving the Generals a hard fought 6-5 win.
“It was good,” Knight said. “We didn’t like the first 10 minutes of the game obviously but they really fought hard to come back in that one, it was great to see.”
As for Nickerson, he couldn’t help but smile after his five-point effort against the Panthers.
“Everything seemed to just go in,” Nickerson said. “I felt like I couldn’t do anything wrong every time I touched the puck, it was just crazy.”
Before their home game on Saturday night, play-by-play man Dominic Abassi was awarded “Play by Play Man of the Year” from VIJHL President Myles Parsons.
Defenceman Wyatt Meiers was given the Bob Saunders Award for Community Leadership.