The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals continued to creep closer to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings last week, earning points in three straight games.
Sitting eight points behind the third-place Glacier Kings in the north division, the Gens helped their cause on Friday night as they beat the Kings 6-3. Earlier last week, the Generals took a point against the Saanich Braves with an overtime loss. Saturday night, they took on the Kerry Park Islanders, coming away with a 6-3 loss.
Down 4-1 in the third against the Braves, the Generals would score three goals in the third to draw even, two from Mathieu Jallabert and the game-tying goal from Dayton Keith with 24 seconds left on the clock. They continued to put the puck in the back of the net against the Glacier Kings at home on Friday, putting up six goals on the board. Matteo Giomo scored twice, along with newcomer Quinlan Moore, Cam Nickerson, Landon Dziadyk and Mathieu Jallabert.
“We made some good moves at the deadline to help us out,” head coach Brad Knight said. “We got younger, a little bit faster and a little bit grittier so that’s a good thing for us. We’ve got guys buying in and our young players are going well right now, so I think we’re going to start winning some games down the stretch here. They’re playing with confidence right now and they’re working hard, it’s getting better.”
After acquiring forward Willie Daigneault and defenseman Keggan Selva, along with carding 16-year- old defenseman Bekkam Willis, the youth movement continued for the Gens as they continue to stock up on young players while looking towards the future. Friday night’s game against Comox was the first game with the new acquisitions in the lineup.
“We knew what we traded for,” Knight said. “But until you can get them in the lineup, you don’t really know what they’re capable of doing for you. I think they played well for us; they’re going to make the adjustments and pick it up here pretty quick. I really liked the way all three of them played.”
Goaltender Matt Henwood, who got the start on Friday night against Comox, was injured after a collision during the first goal for the Glacier Kings, early in the first period. Brandon Ward came in for the Generals after getting the start in Saanich and didn’t miss a beat for the Gens.
“He was good,” Knight said. “That’s a 20 year-old coming off the bench and stepping up in a big, big way for us.”
“Henwood went down with an injury there in the first period so Ward came in for us and made some big saves to keep Comox off the scoreboard. That was big for us as a team and for him personally.”
The Gens will travel to Victoria to take on the Peninsula Panthers on Friday night, then will return home to take on the Campbell River Storm, 7:30 p.m. puck drop at Oceanside Place on Saturday night.