The VIJHL’s Jan. 10 trading deadline has come and gone, and the first year head coach and GM of Oceanside’s Save-On-Foods Generals says he likes what he sees when he looks down the bench.
“For sure. I think we’ve got a really good group,” Gens’ skipper Brent Demerais — who has had to be patient this season what with all the injuries the team has had to work through — said this week when The NEWS caught up with him. The lineup is looking a lot healthier these days he says, with the ranks bolstered by the addition of forward Adam Robertson, 18, acquired from the Kerry Park Islanders at the deadline.
Robertson, 5’11”, 185 pounds, who started the season with Comox, struck for two goals in Campbell River against the Storm in his first game as a Gen.
“He’s actually a guy we were trying to get about three months ago,” said Demerais, explaining how his team had just lost 9-4 to the Cougars in Victoria, “and I was on the phone right after that game trying purchase him from Comox.
“He’s my type of player, for sure. He can play centre, wing, on the penalty kill; he’s got a great shot, I think he’s a great addition to our team. He brings a lot to the table.”
Also earning props for his play is local forward Taylor Gray (who turned 19 last weekend) who continues to improve after missing a number of games with a foot injury.
“He’s healthier now and he’s really coming on — he’ll definitely be an asset to us down the stretch,” said Demerais.
Oceanside is two points behind Comox for second in the North and with time winding down on the regular season, this Sunday’s showdown between the two teams at Oceanside Place carries some importance.
“Oh yeah,” chuckled Demerais. “We’re only two points back of Comox for second and we play them three more times, so it’ll probably come down to those games for second.”
Looking ahead, Demerais said he expects to have everyone on the bench healthy and ready to go by Feb. 1, but in the meantime he has only five defence men.
D-man Liam Peel has been out with a lower body injury for a few weeks now, and the Generals lost 6’3” rearguard Ryan Buse at the trade deadline when he was signed by the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
“We thought we were going to have seven D-men, and then Liam gets hurt and we lose Ryan, but that’s hockey,” Demerais surmised easily. “That’s way it goes.”
The Generals are coming off a win over the Kerry Park Islanders and are 3-1 in their last four games have won 10 of their last 15.
The 17-20-2 Generals host the league’s last place Kerry Park Islanders (4-32-3) Saturday night (7:30 p.m. start), and return to the rink Sunday to face the 18-18-2 Glacier Kings (2:30 p.m. start).