The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals hit the road tonight in Victoria.
With puck drop slated for 7 p.m., the Gens are still looking for their first victory on the road this season. They earned a point on the road with a 3-3 tie earlier this month against Kerry Park.
The players know not getting off to a quick start is their Achilles’ heel. They’ve struggled out of the gate but managed to pick up the pace through the game. It’s something the team hopes to turn around and be first to put a goal on.
“We need to come out strong from the opening face off,” forward Jacob Longmore said. “A lot of the games this season we haven’t come out that way and we’re usually falling behind early because of it. It’s something that needs to change and we’re the only ones that can change that.”
This marks the third meeting in the last two weeks between the Gens and the Victoria Cougars, who beat the Generals in two of three. Not for lack of effort, the Generals have played the Cougars, and other teams as of late, rather hard and have proven to be a tough team to play against, regardless of the team record.
“We’ve been improving with each game and it’s showed,” head coach Chuck Kessler said. “This is a team that’s had to go through some adversity early on in the season but they’re showing that they have fight and determination and aren’t going to bow their heads and give up.”
The Generals are back home Saturday (7:30 p.m.) to resume their heated rivalry with the Nanaimo Buccaneers, who beat them last week 4-2. Things got a little chippy in the third and the potential for more fireworks is always there.
“Playing the same team, you get to have a feel for them, get to know their tendencies,” Longmore said. “You can’t give any ground up, especially after a loss the last time out. We’ll have to fight for ice out there but we’re up to the challenge, for sure.”
Injured forward Jarrett Weme hopes to be back on the ice soon after suffering an upper-body injury last weekend. Forward Brendan Bilotta is still a week or two away from returning but is healing well with his lower-body injury. Gibson Doney missed action last week due to personal reasons but will hopefully be back on the ice this week. Meanwhile, goaltender David Anderson is still dealing with a lower-body injury and his return is unknown.
Dominic Abassi will have the call of both games on 88.5 The Beach.