Taylor Grobowski cleared the way with a hat trick, and Oceanside’s Save On Foods Generals finally beat the Glacier Kings.
Not just once, but twice.
The 5-2 win in Comox Saturday ended a 12-game losing streak against the defending North Division champs. The Gens went 0-for-8 against the Glacier Kings last year, and were 0-for-4 this season heading into Saturday’s contest.
The local lads officially shook the monkey off their backs Saturday — and they did it again in Parksville on Sunday, doubling the ‘Kings 4-2.
It’s the first time the Generals have swept the Glacier Kings in over two years.
“It’s been a while,” a hoarse sounding head coach and GM Dave Johnston confirmed Monday when The News caught up with him.
“Obviously it was a great weekend for us,” he said, adding, “we played real good hockey for two games.”
If the sweep sounds like it has the makings of a turning point for the local Jr. B team, that’s because it could be.
“Yeah, I think it’s significant for our team. We did need to get that monkey off our back,” said Johnston, adding, “we talked to the guys a lot about where we want to go, and that getting to a league final will have to go through Comox, so it was very important for us to know that we can beat them.”
Keys to the sweep said Johnston started with the solid play of goalie Michael Gudmandson who was in net for both wins, and has earned the role of starter.
“I also thought Dylan Haugen was absolutely fantastic both games,” Johnston said of his second year 17-year-old centre from Port Alberni. “He brings so much — he just does so many little things really well. He’s definitely a difference maker for us.”
Comox opened the scoring midway through the first period Saturday and Haugen scored five minutes later for a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes.
Johnston also had props for 6’3” power forward Conor Enright who “made life miserable for their defence all weekend,” and for his shut-down line of Justin Polischuck, Connor Allison and Cam McKarrick, who played physical and neutralized Comox’s top scorer.
The VIJHL on-line box score for Sunday’s game was not up at Monday’s deadline, but in Comox on Saturday, the hosts opened the scoring 5:07 in, and Grabowski (Kyle Yamasaki, Justin Polischuk) tied it 33 seconds later, which is how it stood at the first intermission.
Travis Brigss upped it to 2-1 Gens when he scored unassisted on the power play 7:37 into the second period. Comox scored to make it 2-2, but Pollischuk and Grobowski (PP) scored two minutes apart for a 4-2 Gens lead after 40 minutes.
Grobowski (Noah Russi, Keenan McConnell) scored the only goal of the third period at 8:50 with the man advantage.
The Generals were 3-for-7 on the power play. The Kings 0-for-6. Oceanside outshot Comox 37-25. Gudmandson made 23 saves for the win in net.
The sweep lifts the Generals to 10-13-1 on the season and seven points back of the North-leading Kings, in fifth overall in the seven-team league.
The Generals are home at Oceanside Place Saturday to take on the league-leading Victoria Cougars.
Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.