The Save–On–Foods Oceanside Generals will look to bounce back from a 5–3 loss to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings with three games this week, starting against the Saanich Braves on Wednesday.
The Generals travelled to Saanich to take on the winless Braves last night (score not available at press time) and were hoping to see Saanich’s winless streak remain intact.
Friday night, the Generals are back in action against those same Glacier Kings that handed them a 5–3 loss last weekend and they’ll have two chances to return the favour this week as they play a home-and-home on Friday and Saturday.
They’ll be without the services of gritty forward Brendan Bilotta, who was injured when he got tangled up during a fight last Saturday.
Bilotta could miss up to one month due to an ankle injury, which he’s had problems with since coming to training camp.
“Brendan’s injury goes back to before he was even here for our camp,” head coach Jason Johns said.
“He was hurt prior and came up here, even though he couldn’t take part in the on–ice drills. He’s been battling for us all season so far and it’s hard to lose a guy who’s willing to go out there and play his heart out when he’s not 100 percent.”
Bilotta isn’t the only General on the injured list, as forward Mathieu Jallabert is still recovering from a concussion.
Defenseman Gibson Doney is also not at full capacity, thanks to an illness that kept him sidelined from practice prior to Wednesday night’s game, but he was hoping to be well enough to play.
AP call up Jake McKenzie, from Campbell River, travelled with the Generals to Saanich on Wednesday and will be suiting up for his second game with the Generals this season.
“Jake had a good game, from my eyes, in his first call up,” Johns said.
“He thought he could have played a little better than he did and he’s looking to improve this time around. With the guys that are down up front, we’ll need him to step in to a bit more ice time this time around and hopefully he can step up his game like he’s wanting to.”
Friday marks the first of back-to-back games against the Glacier Kings, which takes place in Comox and then Saturday night back at Oceanside Place for a 7:30 start.
“We’re a young team and they’ve got a good number of vets, so it shows,” Johns said. “We just need to realize that you can’t take a period off in this league and expect to be alright by the final buzzer. You can’t get away with that and it’s something that we’re learning first hand and hopefully something we’ll be able to turn around this week.”
Sitting seven points back of the Glacier Kings in the North Division, the Generals could make up some good ground with two wins this weekend. You can catch Friday’s and Saturday’s game on 88.5 The Beach and at Oceanside Place, Saturday night, at 7:30 p.m.