Giroux backstops Gens to first win

Opel scores twice, Giroux makes 35 saves; Gens also lost a pair of road games

Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals goaltender Liam Giroux looks around a screen provided by Peninsula Panther Reece Costain

Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals goaltender Liam Giroux looks around a screen provided by Peninsula Panther Reece Costain

The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals got their first win of the season on Sunday, and it came against a quality opponent in front of an appreciative crowd at Oceanside Place.

The Generals were solid at both ends of the ice throughout and scored the only two goals of the third period to skate away with a 4-2 win over the Peninsula Panthers.

Seventeen-year-old Kelyn Open scored twice for the Gens, including the insurance marker late in the third. Other Generals goals were scored by 16-year-old Brodie Smith and 19-year-old captain Travis Flug, who continues his hot start to the season (five goals, six assists in five games). Chase Gaudreault, a 17-year-old from Port Alberni,  had two assists.

Zack Smith and Connor Logan scored for the visiting Panthers in front of about 200 spectators at Oceanside Place.

Liam Giroux was solid in goal for the Generals, especially in the third period when he turned away all 17 Panthers’ shots. In all, Giroux, a 17-year-old from Qualicum Beach, made 35 saves as the Panthers outshot the Gens 37-36.

The Generals had dropped their first four games of the young Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season, but battled hard Sunday to get the victory against a Southern Division visitor that had picked up five of a possible six points in its first three games.

The Generals began their three-game weekend Thursday night in Nanaimo, where they were beaten 5-0. The Generals only managed 17 shots on goal the entire game and only three in the third period. Starting goaltender Alex Olson’s night was over early after allowing three goals in the first 11 minutes of the game.

On Friday night in Comox, the Glacier Kings scored five goals in the first 12 minutes of the second period to chase Olson again on the way to 7-6 win over the Generals. Cory Burnett, Gaudreault with a pair, Dominic Kolbeins, Open and Jonah Pearson scored for the Generals.

The Generals have a home-and-home this coming weekend with Campbell River, with the home game set to start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Oceanside Place after Friday night’s game in Campbell River.