A break in the scheduling meant some quality practice time for Oceanside’s Save On Foods Generals this week as they gear up for the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) playoffs, and on Tuesday they picked up two points for that game against the Peninsula Panthers that was called after the Zamboni ate the ice.
VIJHL president Greg Batters said after much debate it was agreed the Generals, who were leading that Dec. 17 game 4-2 after two periods (on the strength of their best period of the season), would be awarded two points and the Panthers one, exactly as if Oceanside won in OT.
“What we tried to do originally was see if we could get ice time at either one of those facilities to finish the 3rd, or to do 10-shooter shoot-out to decide it (but) we just couldn’t get the ice time for it.
“We tried to shortening the warm up and skipping the ice clean at the third just to get a window to finish that period and it just wasn’t going to work. We tried to come up with some creative solutions but nothing worked so we that’s what we settled on.”
Batters said it was Generals’ GM and head coach Dave Johnston who suggested the compromise.
“It was a tough one because were doing our playoff structure based on the league standings, not North and South so it could have implications.”
In almost every sport, if a game is called for any reason past the half way point then whoever is leading is declared the winner.
“It was much discussed and it was agreed upon; not everybody was happy with it, but it was agreed on nonetheless which shows the collectiveness of the group (of GMs) which is great.”
While the VIJHL does not at present have any rules in place, Batters said it’s on their radar, “but we have other fish to fry in terms of new rules; the fact is we have other business to take care of before we worry about something that happens once every 10 years.”
Johnston said the four ice sessions they got in this week will help the cause.
“A good hard week of practices really getting the guys ready for our short stretch before playoffs.”
The Generals have nine regular season games remaining — four at home and five on the road.
“Our focus as a team is first place in the North,” said Johnston, whose team is five points back of Comox with a game in hand, “so we’re going to have to put together a good solid winning streak.”
The 16-16-2 Generals have only one game this week, that art home against the 12-21-1 Campbell River Storm on Saturday. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.