Oceanside’s Save On Foods Generals will have to wait a while longer for their first win of the season, but the W’s will come says their coach, and with them the intangibles that come with confidence.
The Gens dropped to 0-3 out of the gate on Friday but salvaged the single point with a tough 7-6 overtime loss to the Storm in Campbell River, then came up on the short end of a 5-3 final against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in a wide-open entertaining contest.
Against their nemesis the Glacier Kings in front of just under 400 fans at Oceanside Place Saturday, the Generals came out with plenty of jump but Comox struck first 4:41 into the game. Oceanside shook it off and Joel Issigonis (Riel Gibson, Jaden Schmiesser) put the Gens back on even terms just over three minutes later with his first of two goals on the game.
A great game between two fast teams, the difference in this one, as relayed loud and clear in the dressing room during the fist intermission, was defence.
The Gens’ responded with their best period of the young season, out-shooting the ‘Kings 20-8 in the second frame and tying the game 3-3 after 40 minutes with two unanswered goals — Issigonis (Gibson, Schmiesser) scored at 4:49, and Colby Lim (Gibson, Schmiesser) clicked on the PP at 9:36.
The two teams turned in a fiercely contested third, with Comox scoring two unanswered goals — the first one 1:09 in on a power play and the second an empty netter at 19:49.
A fast paced game — their were only seven penalties in all, five of those to the home team, and not one in the third period.
“The refs did a good job that game, they found a way to let the guys play,” said Dubyna.
The Generals went into the game hungry for their first win of the 2011/2012 season, but Comox, who came to town 2-1 and tops in the three team North Division, are as big and as fast and as tough on the puck as always. Comox ran away with top spot in the North Division by 23 points last year, and swept the Generals head-to-head winning all eight games including the playoffs.
Generals’ head coach admitted it was a streak he wanted to end, “but I didn’t want to address that (with the players) at this point. Right now I’m just trying to get the guys to focus on playing our game and not worrying about the opponent or the match up.”
Dubyna also concedes that there’s some frustration amongst the players, “but the team’s close to getting wins. I wish the next game could be tomorrow to get it over with, but we just have to stick with the plan and be patient and know that the players will get it.”
Asked what he liked out of his team on the weekend the first year head coach pointed to the fact “we’re starting to get scoring from different players — three guys got their first Jr. B goals on the weekend.
Issigonis, 18, from Vancouver, is one of 11 players on the current roster of 21 in their first year with the Generals.
UP ISLAND on Friday, the Campbell River led 3-1 after 20 mintues, Oceanside responded four goals to CRs one in the second period and took a 5-4 lead into the second intermission.
The Storm scored 5:58 into the third to tie it up and took a 6-5 lead, which is how it stood until 12:59 when Dylan Haugen (Luciano Somerville) scored a shorthanded marker to make it 6-6 which is how it stood through regulation.
CR scored 3:30 into the four-on-four overtime for their first win of the young campaign (3-1).
Shots on goal were 31-30 Gens, Marsh Tighearnan from Campbell River was between the pipes for his first start as a General.
Asked what the game plan is this week, Dubyna’s answer came quickly.
“Our biggest focus is gong to be to develop ways to be harder to play against. We have to focus on being more aggressive, be more physical,” Dubyna surmised, adding “over the weekend we showed that we have the skill to compete, but we need to bring a higher battle level.