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Oceanside Generals power past Port Alberni Bombers 5-4 in VIJHL season opener

Steady parade to the penalty box for the Gens kept the score close

Discipline is going to be key for the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals this Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season.

The Generals kicked off their season with a 5-4 win against the Port Alberni Bombers in front of home fans at Oceanside Place on Sept. 9.

The game highlighted the Generals’ in-and-out parade to the penalty box, which allowed the visiting Bombers a late comeback to keep the score close. The Generals recorded a total of 17 infractions in three periods of play.

Generals rookie Benjamin Groome, who tallied three points with a goal and two assists in his VIJHL debut, said they have to learn how to keep their tempers in check.

“We had an alright game but we took too many penalties,” said Groome. “It was a solid effort overall. We played well when we didn’t spend too much time in the penalty box. We need to be a lot more disciplined.”

The Generals got off to a slow start. And it didn’t help when they had to spend more time killing penalties. But they eventually broke the stalemate with just over 30 seconds left to play in the first period, when Brayden Ross picked up a lose puck that landed behind Bombers goalie Lukas Toth.

READ MORE: Oceanside Generals name captains for 2022-23 VIJHL season

In the second, the Generals extended their lead, adding three goals in a row from Groome, Brendan Carlson and rookie Connor Allen.

The Bombers made a strong comeback in the final frame, scoring two successive goals to make it 4-2. The Generals stopped the rally when Jacob Thomas scored a power-play goal with less than four minutes left in the period. The Bombers continued to press hard late in the game and were able to cut the lead to 5-4 before time ran out.

Goalie Ashton Sadauskas earned the win between the pipes for the Generals as he turned away 23 of the 27 shots he faced.

Groome was named the Generals’ star of the game. He was happy to win in his debut game.

“It was awesome to play my first VIJHL game and also score some points at the same time,” said Groome. “I wasn’t expecting it. It’s just an unreal feeling.”

The Generals will next face the Westshore Wolves on the road at the Q Centre on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. They are back home on Friday night, Sept. 16, when they host the Comox Valley Glacier Kings at Oceanside Place at 7:15 p.m. The next day they face the Warriors at Oceanside Place at 7 p.m.

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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