If there’s an upside to opening the season with three games in three days “it’s that as coaches and players you sure get to know each other in a hurry.”
Oceanside’s Save-On-Foods Generals head into week two of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s 48-game regular season having taken three of a possible six points last weekend. But as important as the points, confirmed new head coach Brent Demerais, was the stubborn resolve his team displayed against two good teams.
The community owned Jr. B Generals, who have undergone many changes in the offseason, paid tribute to their roots during Saturday’s VIJHL regular season home opener at Oceanside Place when they honoured team co-founder and first head coach Rob Ohs, who dropped the ceremonial opening face-off with Save-On-Foods’ Bruce Brown.
The Generals were full value for the single point in their league opening 3-2 loss to the Storm in Campbell River Friday night in a game decided in overtime shootout.
Powell River puckstopper Alex Mastrodonato got the start in net for Oceanside in that one and made 32 saves in a losing cause.
On Saturday in it their home opener in front of a reported 850 fans on free night, the Generals battled hard but dropped the back end of the home-and-home 2-0.
Both goals came in the second period.
Qualicum Beach goalie Kiefer Giroux did his bit that game with a 33-save performance that earned him the games’ second star.
If the Generals were tired Sunday they sure didn’t show it, as they brought their work boots to the rink and hammered out a 1-0 win over the Peninsula Panthers in front of a sparse crowd of just under 200.
Big forward Cam McCarrick was rewarded for standing his ground in front of the net when he shoveled in a nice feed from the corner after some great work down low by Taylor Gray and Marino Sommerville.
The Generals’ first regular season goal on home ice this season came at 8:59 of the opening frame Sunday and stood up to be the winner in a what was a goaltenders’ duel.
Joshua Alalouf from Delta was the game’s first star in his first start in net with Oceanside, backstopping the Gens with a 33-save performance. McCarrick was second star and local blueliner Noah Russi was a force for third star honours.
“It was great,” Demerais said of the big crowd out for Saturday’s game. “Obviously we wanted the win, but I really think we’re on the right track.
“They worked hard,” he said of his squad, “and that’s one thing I’ll say about this team — practice wise and game wise, they work hard. They don’t quit.”
Just to make things tricker, is ‘the goalie situation.’
“We started three goalies on three different nights, and all three of them played unreal. Unbelievable actually. It’s going to be tough … there’s still cuts coming down as we speak,” said the coach.
“It’s going to be real tough.”
The Gens are in Saanich on Friday to face the Braves and return home Saturday to host the Victoria Cougars for a 7:30 p.m. start.