The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals sent the Campbell River Storm a strong message, after beating the perennial Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League powerhouse in dominating fashion 6-1 at Oceanside Place on Saturday night.
It was one of the best games the Generals played this season, coming out strong from start to finish. It was their fourth win in a row.
The Generals have now shown they are now hitting playoff form.
As a result, the Generals ousted the Storm from atop the North Division standings. They now have two-point lead over the Storm with 27 wins and 13 losses.
Isaac Leik, who was acquired from the Peninsula Panthers last month and has been a big boost to the Generals offence, had a five-point performance, scoring two goals and three helpers.
“We were all hungry,” said Leik, who was named the VIJHL Player of the Week. “It was a big game for first place and we were all ready to go. They are always a winning team so we had to give a full 60 minutes and we certainly did. It feels good to get that win.”
The Generals took control from the start and had the Storm on the defensive throughout the period. The Storm took a couple of penalties. The Generals made them pay with Aiden Sutherland scoring twice on the man-advantage. Logan Cursley made it 3-0 which held until the end of the frame.
In the second, the Generals never let up and added two more goals scored both by Leik to increase their lead to 5-0. The Storm were able to avoid another shutout period when Owen Christensen scored with less than a minute left to place.
The Storm tightened up their defence but took too many penalties. The Generals were able to capitalize on one when Garett Gilbertson scored to make it 6-1.
Goaltender James Brendeland earned the win between the pipes, making 27 saves. It was his 15th win this season.
The Generals will face the Storm again in their last regular game of the season on Feb. 22 at Oceanside Place at 7 p.m. Leik said they can’t afford to let up now that the season is nearing the playoffs.
“We probably play them in the playoffs so we have to keep battling hard against them and hope to keep getting wins,” he said.
On Friday, Feb. 15, the Generals will take on the Comox Valley Glacier Kings at Oceanside Place at 7 p.m.
The Glacier Kings, despite being in the bottom in the VIJHL standings, have been playing spoilers lately and the Generals can’t afford to have an off night.
The next night, the Generals will be at the Archie Browning Arena to face the league-leading Victoria Cougars at 7:30 p.m.