It was back to business for the boys of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) last week, and Oceanside’s Save On Foods Generals had to bring their work boots to the rink Saturday night to salvage a split against the stubborn Campbell River Storm.
The Gens dropped their first game back from the Christmas break up Island Friday against the league’s last place Storm in a free-wheeling 4-3 final. The Gens bounced back with a well-earned 3-0 win in the quiet confines of Oceanside Place on Saturday.
“A lackluster effort,” Gens’ head coach and GM Dave Johnston offered on Friday’s loss. “I think we just thought that showing up would suffice, but Campbell River works to hard to just show up,” he said.
“I thought we were solid from start to finish on Saturday.
“First place in the North is very much our goal, so we’re treating this stretch run like a playoff scenario.”
The Generals had plenty of jump on Saturday and earned the win by committee.
Hard-workig forward Dylan Haugen (Garrett Kemmler, Nathan Deyell) was rewarded for his efforts at 12:24. Nathan Deyell (Jared Chinn, Kyle Yamasaki) scored just under five minutes later, and the home side took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
The battle of goaltenders heated up in a scoreless second. Haugen (Conor Enright, Garrett Kemmler) salted the win at 14:21 with his second of the game.
Oceanside outshot CR 34-24. The penalty kill for both teams was working — CR was 0-for-6 with the man advantage, Oceanside 1-for-8.
Haugen earned the game’s first star, Deyell the second and goalie Michael Gudmandson, third. ‘Goody’ was named the VIJHL’s Player of the Week.
The split leaves Oceanside sitting fourth and one point back of third place Saanich at 15-15-1.
Johnston watched the game from above on Saturday, “working towards the trade deadline; playing GM.
The trading deadline is tomorrow (Tuesday), at which time there will be something to report,” said Johnston,
BIG GAME ON
The Generals are down Island Friday night to tangle with the 13-13-2 Peninsula Panthers. The Gens then return home Saturday for a big North Division showdown against the second overall, 17-12-3 Glacier Kings out of Comox (puck drops 7:30 p.m.).