The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals are running out of time as they look to sneak into the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs.
Another three games on the schedule this past week for the Generals resulted in three losses. The Gens were shutout in back to back games against the Nanaimo Buccaneers (4–0) and the Kerry Park Islanders (7–0). Saturday night the Generals dropped a 5–2 decision to the Penninsula Panthers.
It’s been a tough go the last two weeks for the Generals as they deal with being short handed on the defensive end, with captain Travis Flug filling the void left by the departing Chandler Bruyckere.
“It’s been an adjustment, for sure,” Flug said. “I like being back there on the defensive end but it’s weird at some points not being able to be up there on the rush like I’m used to. I feel comfortable enough back there though. I played on D when I was in minor hockey so it’s somewhat familiar.”
It was another fast start for the Generals at home again as Chase Gaudreault opened the scoring just over a minute in, his seventh of the season. The Generals managed to hold on to the lead after the first as Evgeuni Makarski turned aside 10 shots from Penninsula in the first period.
The newest addition to the Generals, 18-year-old Keegan Hull from Calgary, potted his first goal as a General early in the second period off a nice feed on the rush from Devin Warfield. Hull went straight to the net and Warfield managed to find his teammate to make it 2–0.
“It was good to get the first one. I thought it was pretty greasy but it was good,” Hull said. “Warf made a good play throwing it to the net off the rush and I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time.”
That was it for the Generals in terms of offense on this night as Penninsula scored three straight goals to close out the second period and kept the momentum finding the net two more times in the third, including an empty net goal.
“I thought we had a really good first period,” said head coach Bill Bestwick. “We played step for step, shot for shot with those guys, especially after a disappointing game against Kerry Park. The second period we turned the puck over inside our own blue line a few times and they started their come back from there. I really liked the effort from the kids though. They played hard and gave Penninsula a good challenge which was nice to see after Friday’s game.”
The Generals are back at it this weekend in Comox Friday. Then it’s home on Saturday night to host the league leading Victoria Cougars. With just five games left on their schedule, the Generals need to win, and hope the Saanich Braves continue to lose, to get the last playoff spot.