Oceanside midget Christian Stokes

Midget Generals clinch semifinal berth

Rep hockey squad nails down No. 1 seed in Tier 2 North division playoffs; bantams host game Friday

A 2-2 draw with visiting Nanaimo Saturday was a minor blemish, but did not slow the Oceanside Midget Generals’ march to the Tier 2 Vancouver Island playoff semifinals.

The midgets followed Saturday’s home tie with a 7-4 win Sunday at Comox to wrap up the Tier 2 North round-robin with a 3-0-1 record, clinching the top seed and a home semifinal game the weekend of Feb. 18-19.

The other four teams in the playoffs have all suffered at least one loss, guaranteeing the Generals the North’s top seed. They will host the No. 2 qualifier from the Tier 2 South round-robin in a semifinal game for a spot in the best-of-three Island championship series.

“It’s pretty cool,” midget coach Clinton Sutherland said after the team recovered from a three-game losing streak to end the regular season. “We didn’t really expect it; we went on a bit of a slide there, but we picked it up when it counted.”

Oceanside midget Isaac Larocque-Wall, left, fires a shot at Nanaimo goalie Ross Manson during the teams’ Tier 2 North playoff hockey game in Parksville Saturday. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS

The Oceanside bantam and peewee teams return to playoff action this weekend with their postseason fate on the line.

The bantams suffered a 7-1 loss at Powell River Sunday and take an 0-1-1 record into a home game against Nanaimo Friday at

5:30 p.m. at Howie Meeker Arena and Sunday’s round-robin finale, Sunday in Comox.

Both are must-win games for the bantams, who won the regular-season Division 2 title.

The Peewee Generals suffered an 8-6 loss to Comox Valley Sunday to fall to 1-2 in the five-team round-robin.

The peewees play at Campbell River Saturday morning needing a win and some help to claim one of the North division’s two semifinal berths.

The Midget Generals, meanwhile, wrapped up their round robin series in the first two weekends of play and will get a much-needed bye this week while trying to get several players healthy.

The squad had just 11 players for Saturday’s tie against Nanaimo, in which the Generals rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to earn the point.

“I think spending too much time in the (penalty) box and little mental errors, like leaving guys wide open in front (of the net), are things that won’t happen if we get a couple extra guys back,” Sutherland said.

Jose Hope scored off assists from Dylan Williams and Bailey Kaario to tie the game 1-1 at 16:45 of the first period, and Christian Stokes added a score with assists from James Schworan and Duncan Cairns at 2:29 of the second.