New Gens coach has high expectations

Sixth coach in 14 months takes over helm of team with two wins in 15 games

New Generals head coach Chuck Kessler at practice before the Generals take on the Nanaimo Buccaneers tonight (7:15 p.m.) and the Victoria Cougars Saturday at Oceanside Place

Chuck Kessler has been named the new head coach of the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals, as of last Thursday after the team played to a 3-3 tie against the Kerry Park Islanders.

Kessler, who comes to the team from Colorado, brings his years of experience, both as a player and coach to the Generals.

He’s the sixth coach the club has had over the last 13 months and will be looking to turn things around for the team.

“They’ve had a bit of tough luck, these kids,” Kessler said. “It was a tough situation when I came in here and to see where these kids were at, there’s a few things that we need to work on that are easy fixes.”

Sitting in last place in the North Division, the Generals haven’t been able to put together a full sixty-minute game this season but are on the right track, according to Kessler.

“I have high expectations. These kids have a lot of skills and there’s a lot of possibility here, Kessler said.

“Modern hockey is all about skating and fitness, getting up and down the ice. Their fitness level isn’t where it needs to be right now but we’re working on that and it’s only a matter of time before it turns around.”

A former Division 1 player (for Colorado College), Kessler started off in the B.C. Junior Hockey League, then played professional hockey in Europe and spent time as a skating coach for several different camps and professional players in the Czech Republic.

His focus is on the modern hockey template, the combination of skating and fitness to go along with the skills.

Kessler said he’s “looking to see a lot of hockey in the other team’s zone.”

“Modern hockey is all about having five men on offense and five men back on defense. We want to see our defense get up there early on offense and we need to see our forwards skate hard on the back check. Play through all three zones and work hard while you’re doing it.”

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