After their loss Saturday night, coach Dan Lemmon said his Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals needed to play with more discipline.
The players seemed to get that message received loud and clear when they took to the ice for Monday night’s practice ahead of Friday’s rematch with the Campbell River Storm.
“Staying out of the box is going to be key,” said captain Travis Flug, a 19-year-old from Parksville who leads the team in scoring. “We need to play with more discipline and that’s something we have to do together as a team.”
Last Saturday night at Oceanside Place against the Storm, the Generals trailed 3-2 in the third period but two empty net goals from Campbell River made it a 5-2 final. Campbell River enjoyed 14 power play chances that night and outshot the Generals 42-23. Gens goaltender Evgeuni Makarski was able to keep the Generals in it with some big saves when they needed them.
Discipline was quite the theme following the loss on Saturday and again at practice on Monday.
“Those nine penalties in the second period really hurt us,” said Flug. “We just weren’t moving our feet enough and when you don’t move your feet, your chasing the puck and hooking guys, so we had a few stick infractions called on us.
According to Flug, Head Coach Dan Lemmon has been encouraging the team to play more of a physical game, especially when it comes to the forecheck.
“He’s been talking about toughness,” said Flug. “First guy in needs to have a hit, second guy needs to either take the puck or have another hit to get position. When we’re hitting them, the defence is backing off and giving up the puck but when we don’t they just skate right through us and that can lead to odd numbers and scoring chances if we aren’t doing our job.”
Newcomer Hank Hilts echoed the same message. Hilts, an 18-year-old from Ferndale, Washington, is a solid defenceman who has helped out the back end.
“We need to get some more shots on net, play a little more physical and play the full 60 minutes,” said Hilts. “If we can stay out of the box and have everyone stick to their game and do what’s best for the team, we should be alright (this weekend).”
Defenceman Louis–Patrice Giguere, a 20-year-old from St-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec, said he is looking for more from his teammates. Recently named an assistant captain, Giguere said he feels he has more of a leadership role with the team now.
“More discipline, communication, intensity, look to finish our hits,” said Giguere. “We have a good team on paper but sometimes on the ice it’s not the same thing. If all the guys play together and give 100 per cent, we can win more games.”
The Generals are on the road for both games this weekend, Friday in Campbell River and then again Saturday against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Puck drops at 7:30 both nights and you can catch both games on 88.5 The Beach with play-by-play provided by Dominic Abassi.