The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals stopped the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 5-2 in the opening game of their best-of-seven Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series Wednesday (Feb. 23) at Oceanside Place.
It was a big relief to the Generals, who lost two consecutive games against the Glacier Kings heading into the playoffs.
Coach Dan Lemmon said the players were a bit nervous at the start but eventually gained confidence as the game progressed.
“We knew we were coming in to a dogfight,” said Lemmon. “They were coming in with a lot of confidence having beaten us twice. But I think our forechecking was good and our goaltender was great. We still have a lot of things we have to do to get better but we wanted to win on home ice in Game 1 and secure home-ice advantage and that’s what we’ve done.”
The Generals grabbed a 1-0 lead on a goal scored by Brendan Carlson, who was able to elude two Glacier Kings to skate closer to the goal where he beat Comox Valley goalie Ryder Lally.
Glacier Kings were able to tie it up on a power play in the second but two minutes later Greyson Weme put the Generals ahead 2-1. The Gens started to pick up the pace but their momentum was halted due to a number of undisciplined plays. However, the power play unit kept the Glacier Kings’ offence in check and it paid off when Brayden Ross was able to score shorthanded to extend the Generals lead to 3-1. The Glacier Kings bounced back to make it 3-2 and nearly tied it in the dying seconds of the second but a goal was waved off.
In the third, the Generals continued with their aggressive forechecking and scored two more goals to seal the game. Miles Carson made it 4-2 while Parker Klippenstein scored an empty-netter.
The series now moves to the Comox Valley Sports Centre on Friday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m.
“We are heading to a hostile environment and we have to make sure that we play the same way we played tonight,” said Lemmon.
The Generals are back home for Game 3 at Oceanside Place on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m.