A loss on Friday saw an end to the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals’ chances of making the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs, as the Gens dropped a 6–1 decision to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
In what was becoming a trend for the Generals recently, they found the back of the net early in the first period as Mikey Markland snapped a 15-game scoreless streak to make it 1–0 just under a minute in. The rest of the game Friday night went to the Glacier Kings as they scored six unanswered goals to finish off any hopes the Generals had of making the post-season.
“Everyone’s a bit down but that’s going to happen when you don’t make the playoffs,” captain Travis Flug said. “It’s our own fault though; we can’t put the blame anywhere else. It’s just the way it goes sometimes and that’s the downside to playing hockey.”
The third period of Friday’s game saw the Generals receive 92 minutes in penalties, with two team penalties for game misconducts. Hank Hilts, 18 years old out of Ferndale, Washington, and Markland each received five and 10 minutes for fighting. Flug, Logan Savard, and affiliate player Ryan Hogg from the Burnaby Winter Club each had 10-minute misconducts as well.
Saturday night the Generals were back in action against the best team in the VIJHL, the Victoria Cougars. The Gens came out strong in the first period but couldn’t manage to find the score sheet all game as they were shut out for the third time in their last five games, losing 6-0.
“It’s tough but we just have to keep playing hard,” said defenceman Wyatt Meiers, 17 years old from Courtenay. “You just have to have that same mindset and keep trying to get the win. I know I’m not going to stop working hard out there and I think the rest of the guys feel the same way.”
The Generals should see some of their affiliate players in the lineup for those remaining three games, as there will be roster spots open thanks to some late-season departures. It’s a tough blow for a team that’s struggled all season, but will give some younger players a chance to prove themselves.
“I think that everybody wants the season to be done,” said 16-year-old Daine Elphicke. “It’s been hard, a lot of guys haven’t been able to really get things going, especially myself, so it’s tough when that happens. As a player, you try to get comfortable with a coach and do what he’s asked of you and having all those changes this year has made it hard to make that happen.”
The Generals have three games left, two of which will be at home. The next game is this Saturday as the Generals host the Saanich Braves. Then it’s down to Saanich to play the Braves one more time the following Friday night. The Generals close out their season at home against the Campbell River Storm Feb. 15.