Gens still struggling, heading into late season

The Save-­On-­Foods Oceanside Generals played back-to-back games against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings this past weekend.

Andrew Piercy

The Save-­On-­Foods Oceanside Generals played back-to-back games against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings this past weekend, looking to gain some ground in the VIJHL standings with just nine games left before the playoffs.

After taking a 6-­2 loss in Comox on Friday, the Generals were back on home ice Saturday night for the back end of the home and home.

On a night the team and its fans paid tribute to longtime equipment manager Andrew Piercy — who is leaving the team after 15 seasons — the Generals lost a close game by a score of 4-­3.

“It was a tough game to lose, especially the way we played,” head coach Rob Gaudreault said.

“We came out and started strong like we did on Friday night and were right there all game.”

“We just couldn’t finish it off tonight unfortunately.”

Prior to the game, Piercy was presented with a Generals jersey, complete with his name on the back, from his good friend, former head coach and general manager Dave Johnston.

Johnston was on hand with a few of the players from the 2008/­2009 VIJHL championship winning team.

“Andrew is the heart and soul of the Generals,” Johnston said. “He’s always happy, always cheering the loudest and was right there to open that gate when you were coming off the ice.”

“Everyone that’s ever been involved with the Generals is going to miss him.”

With only seven games left in their schedule, the Generals will play three of those games this week, starting Thursday night against the Nanaimo Buccaneers in Nanaimo.

Friday night the Generals travel down to Victoria to take on the Peninsula Panthers, the team that Piercy will be joining. Saturday, the Generals are back at home to take on the Saanich Braves. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. at Oceanside Place.

It’s going to be a jam-packed week with practices and games, but it’s something that the team will look to take in stride.

“We played good last weekend, so we’ll hope to keep that up this weekend,” forward Brendan Bilotta said.

“We just have to make sure that we take care of ourselves this week. It’s different without a break between the last practice of the week before the weekend games.”

The Generals are still searching for that elusive first road win of the season, which they’ll have four more chances to do with seven games left on the schedule.

“It’s going to be a test this week, for sure,” Gaudreault said. “It’s busy with practice at the start of the week and then Thursday we jump right into the first of three games.”

“These guys have been competitive all season and we’re going to be competitive again, regardless of two or three games in a week. All we have to be is more consistent and if we can do that, get everyone getting more consistent things will get better.”

You can catch the action on 88.5 The Beach with Dom Abassi as the Generals travel to Nanaimo and the Victoria area on Thursday (7:15 p.m. puck drop) and Friday night (7:30 p.m.).

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