The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals have just eight games left and sit nine points back of the last Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff spot.
Back in action in Nanaimo on Thursday, the Generals will be looking to close the gap between themselves and the Saanich Braves. The Gens were able to gain one point over the three games last week while Saanich did their part, losing both of their games.
“With the team we’ve got, I like our chances,” said defenseman Liam Peel. “We’ve been playing good as of late and playing really good as a unit. It’s just a matter of putting it all together each game for 60 minutes and getting these wins we need to make it into the playoffs.”
The Generals take on the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Thursday evening, and then travel down island to face the Kerry Park Islanders Friday night.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Generals but the team seems to be handling it in stride. This week they will have AP call up Josh Harvey, a 16-year-old from Port Alberni, in the lineup and on Saturday night, Carl Provencher will return to the lineup as well.
“I just hope he brings back the energy he had before,” said associate coach Rob Gaudreault. “Hopefully he doesn’t play too tentative or be too worried about playing tough out there. It was one of those things that he said he just got caught in the moment and it got carried away. At the end of the day though, he’s a great kid and we hope his size and energy can help us get in the win column.”
Provencher returns to the Generals after being suspended for 23 games for his role in a fight. Provencher was given the max suspension for intent to injure during that fight but his teammates know he’s not the player the suspension indicates.
“It’s going to be great to have him back in the lineup,” Peel said. “He’s a good guy in the locker room and he’s a big, physical presence on the ice for us. He’s an energy guy so we’ll be looking to feed off his energy out there when he’s back in the lineup.”
The Generals had just four defenseman in the lineup last Sunday as Chandler Bruyckere has left the team to play in El Paso, Texas. Defenseman Ryan White was injured in Saturday night’s game against Campbell River and won’t be in the lineup this week.
You can listen to games on the radio on 88.5 The Beach with Ian Holmes, taking over for the vacationing Dom Abassi. The Gens are back home Saturday night to take on Penninsula with the puck drop at 7:30 p.m. at Oceanside Place.