The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals got back on the winning track, scoring two wins at home against the Nanaimo Buccaneers 4-2 on Saturday, Jan. 18, and the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 3-2 the following day.
They were morale-boosting wins for the Generals, who have struggled to find consistency in their game since December. Prior to last weekend’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League games, they lost seven of eight games.
The snowstorm that hit Vancouver Island last week cancelled the Generals game against the league-leading Victoria Cougars on Jan. 16.
But last Saturday, the Generals faced archrivals the Buccaneers. It was another closely contested game but compared to their last encounter, this one had very little penalties taken.
It was the Generals that took control from the onset grabbing a 2-0 lead in the first half of the period on goals scored by Dawson Heathcote and Elijah Goyer. They gave up a goal to end the frame with a 2-1 advantage.
The second period was an up and down battle. It was the Generals that tripped when they took a penalty late in the period and the Buccaneers made them pay to tie it up 2-2.
In the third, the Generals weathered the Buccaneers’ onslaught and regained the lead on Landon Dziadyk’s goal at 6:28, Less than two minutes later, the Generals capitalized on a power play with Greyson Weme finding the back of the net to make it 4-2, which Oceanside defended well.
The Generals outshot the Buccaneers 41-36. It was James Brendeland who earned the win at the pipes, posting 34 saves.
The next day, the Generals played an afternoon game at home against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, who are the cellar-dwellers in the league.
The Generals had to work harder to earn the narrow 3-2 victory as the Glacier Kings fought hard defensively to frustrate Oceanside’s offence, which in the end outshot their rivals 58-29.
Twice the Generals had to claw their way back after trailing 1-0 early in the first period. Heathcote evened things up when he scored on a power play at 12:18.
In the second, the Glacier Kings took the lead again on a power play.
It wasn’t until late in the period the Generals were able to square things 2-2 on Cage Newan’s marker at 17:55.
In the third, the Generals were able to grab the lead for the first time on Leik’s goal at 1:16.
It fuelled the Generals’ offence but was not able to break the Glacier Kings defence, particularly goalie Jacob Bennett, who ended up turning away 55 of 58 shots.
Generals goaltender Jacob Sweet got credited with the win, his second since rejoining Oceanside early this month.
He had 29 saves.
The Generals remain in second place in the North Division, two points behind the Campbell River Storm with a 23 wins, 11 loses and 3 overtime losses.
They were scheduled to play the Westshore Wolves on Wednesday night, Jan. 22 (after press time).
On Friday, the Generals travel to Campbell River to take on the Storm at 7:30 p.m. They are back at home on Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the Kerry Park Islanders.