Having been blown out 14-2 by Campbell River on Friday, the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals came out strong against Peninsula on Saturday night, looking to get back in the win column.
Taking the lead with less than five minutes to play, the Generals were up 3-2 against the Peninsula Panthers Saturday night. That lead vanished in 21 seconds as the Panthers scored two goals and held on for the win 4-3.
Saturday night’s game was much closer than the end result on Friday night, as the Campbell River Storm blew out the Generals again by a score of 14-2.
“Friday was tough, we checked out mentally in that game very early,” head coach Rob Gaudreault said. “I thought that the boys turned it around very well against Peninsula and played a great game. We were the better team on the ice for 55 minutes of that game and they managed to put two in our net in 21 seconds to win it in the dying minutes.”
A frustrating loss for the Generals, who now trail the Panthers by 10 points for the seventh spot in the VIJHL. The two teams will meet again for the final time in the regular season and if the standings remain the same, will potentially have one more meeting with the chance to go to the playoffs in a wild card game.
Between then and now, the Gens have a lot of ground to make up and have to bring their team game together.
“I think we’ve got a good combination of guys here,” Sebastian Powsey said.
“I think that we’re just about there in terms of camaraderie but the on-ice stuff is there, we’re close. We’ve been competitive in games for spurts and I think that if we can put it together for a full game, giving 100 percent, that’s going to be the difference for us heading towards playoffs.”
Saturday night saw the Generals having to shuffle their lineup thanks to some players not being able to suit up for the game against Peninsula. Captain Gibson Doney was sitting for one game after having his third fight this season on Friday night. Defenseman Kade Pilton was a scratch thanks to an illness.
Powsey made the move back to defense on Saturday night while AP’s Ben Mohl and Zack Williams found themselves in the lineup. Jacob Longmore also returned to the lineup after serving a six game suspension.
“I thought that our AP’s did a great job,” Gaudreault said. “They had some good shifts and showed real well, so that was nice to see.”
The Generals will look ahead to get in the win column this weekend as they take on the Comox Valley Glacier Kings both Friday and Saturday night.