The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals missed another chance to move out of last place in the VIJHL with a loss Saturday night against the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
Still sitting behind the Saanich Braves by two points, the Generals were looking to right the ship after a tough 11-3 loss to the first place Victoria Cougars.
The Generals hosted the Bucs last Saturday night having won three of their last four meetings. But the Buccaneers had other plans, putting up 43 shots, winning 4-2.
“We played to our record,” head coach Brad Knight said. “That Victoria game put us right back to where we started. We were playing good coming out of the Christmas break I felt, but the game against the Cougars saw us get back to the individual play.”
“We just need to work harder, everyone here thinks you can win by skating around with one hand on your stick and making colourful moves. It’s about getting pucks deep, working hard in all zones on the ice and just keeping it simple. Winning games comes with working hard for 60 minutes, plain and simple.”
Captain Cam Nickerson found the back of the net twice for the Generals Saturday, giving him 13 goals on the season.
Nickerson also found himself on the receiving end of a crosscheck to the face after a collision in the corner near the end of the game with Nanaimo’s Trent Bell.
Nickerson received a two-minute penalty for kneeing, five minutes for fighting with the Bucs’ Will Koop, who was given two minutes for instigating the fight, and a 10-minute game misconduct.
Ryan Rae-Arthur also received a misconduct for making sure his captain wasn’t outnumbered with Bell and Koop.
“Rae-Arthur’s a good kid,” Knight said. “He plays with his heart so I’m not surprised he came in there to help defend Nickerson.”
Nickerson’s one-punch against Koop, which left the Bucs player looking worse for wear, wasn’t the only fireworks in the third as the Generals’ big 16-year-old defenseman Bekkam Willis sent the Buccaneers Jayden Schubert airborne into the Gens’ bench with a huge hit, which both teams looked impressed with.
“I haven’t seen that in a long time,” Knight said. “I thought Schubert handled it well though too, he was sent in hard and came out of our bench with a smile on his face, I thought he handled it very well. It was great timing by Willis, who’s a big boy for only being 16 years old.”
The fireworks could carry over between these two teams, as they’ll take to the ice tonight in Nanaimo (7:15 p.m.puck drop).
This is the final regular season meeting between these two teams, with the Buccaneers holding the advantage in the head-to-head meetings this season with five wins to the Generals’ three, along with a tie for both.
“We need to play like we can,” Knight said. “Nanaimo didn’t play their best game and we didn’t capitalize. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what we say or draw up, if you’re not committed to wanting to win, you’re not going to win. We took a few steps back but we’ll be all right.”