After getting shut out the previous night, the Quality Foods Oceanside Generals took out their frustrations on the hapless Comox Valley Glacier Kings, beating them 7-1 in their first home game of 2018 at Oceanside Place on Jan. 5.
The Generals opened the New Year on the road against the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League leaders Nanaimo Buccaneers on Jan. 4 and despite putting up a gallant fight, were disappointed not to find the back of the net, losing 3-0.
“It was a good game and the boys played really well and hard,” said head coach Jesse Hammill. “It was just unfortunate they were unable to score.”
On Friday night, within the friendly confines of their barn, the Generals’ voracious hunger for goals was greatly satisfied when they dominated the Glacier Kings, particularly in the second period where they scored five successive goals. In that period alone, the Generals outshot the Glacier Kings 25-9.
Comox Valley avoided the shutout when Finn Withey netted a shorthanded breakaway marker in the dying seconds of the second to deny the shut out bid of Generals’ newly-acquired goalkeeper Spencer Deakin, who made 28 saves to earn the win at the pipes.
Hammill was happy with the win and the two points but he would have loved to see the Generals stick with their game plan from the onset.
“We didn’t execute our game plan in the first period,” said Hammill. “We really wanted to play physical and take it to them. I don’t think we did.”
Although, the Glacier Kings are the cellar-dwellers in the league, Hammill said you can never take them for granted.
“At any given night anyone can win a game,” said Hammill. “And if you give them hope and desire, then they’ll do that. We buried them in the second period, which was great but the third period was choppy hockey and it was ugly. If we played the way we played last night (against the Buccaneers), it would have been a pretty handy win.”
The Generals were limited to just a goal in the first period, scored by Ryan Rae-Arthur. But in the second, the offense came alive and after Jared Winkel made it 2-0 at 9:27, just over a minute later, sniper Max Creighton slapped one in and around 30 seconds later, he netted his second goal. This was followed by goals from affiliate midget player Ricky Takeda and Mitch Cook to give Generals a comfortable 6-1 lead at the end of the frame.
The lone goal in the third was netted by Takeda, who made quite an impression, earning him the top star of the game. Arthur, Brady Kay and Jared Winkel each had two helpers.
The Generals outshot the Glacier Kings 47-29 but were 0-for-6 on the power play.
On Thursday night at the Nanaimo Ice Centre, the Generals took on the Buccaneers. They competed hard but were not able to solve Buccaneers goaltender Blake Wood, who earned the 3-0 shutout win with 32 saves.
Generals goalie Jacob Sweet also had a strong showing and kept the Generals in contention. He stopped 33 shots and was named the second star of the game.
Former Generals Brandon Roberge led the Buccaneers with two goals, scoring in the first and third periods, to earn the first star of the game. Wyatt Selva was the other scorer for Nanaimo.
Curtis Toneff, Bucs coach, said he thought his team was outplayed at certain points of the game and might not have taken the right approach over the holidays, but said “any time you shut out a team the first game back from the break, I think you’ll take it.”
The Generals will face the Comox Valley Glacier Kings again but this time on the road at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 12. The next day, the Generals will host the Campbell River Storm at home at Oceanside Place at 7 p.m.