New head coach Dan Lemmon has seen the Quality Foods Oceanside Generals undergo a major transformation lately. And he likes it.
The Generals have been winning games. In December, the Generals opened with four straight VIJHL wins but that streak was halted by the Saanich Braves 3-2 in overtime in Victoria on Dec. 14. On Sunday, the Generals got even with the Braves and won 4-3 in double-overtime, much to the delight of home fans at Oceanside Place.
In both barn-burners, the Generals had the edge but surrendered a two-goal lead. They were unlucky in Victoria but at home, they were able to keep their composure and deny the Braves a two-game sweep.
“We showed a lot of heart and determination (Sunday) to bounce back,” said Lemmon. “That’s a team that vied for the championships last year and they know how to win those types of games. They know how to get back in those types of games and we’re still learning that.”
In the first game, the Generals took advantage of their power-play opportunities late in the frame and scored two goals seconds apart, netted by Greyson Weme and Ryan Ignace. The Braves evened it up in the second and it remained that way until the end of the third. In the first overtime the Braves were able to slip one past goalie Jacob Sweet, who ended the night with 36 saves.
In their second encounter, the Generals dominated play and grabbed a first period 2-0 lead scored by Ignace and Elijah Goyer.
The Braves cut the lead in half in the second and went on to tie it up midway in the third period. Landon Dziadyk gave the Generals the lead again at 12:36 but the Braves rallied back to tie it up 3-3 to force the game into overtime.
The 4-on-4 overtime play failed to determine the winners but in the 3-on-3 action, Goyer made good a feed by Trey Boyland to score the winning goal.
Goalie James Brendeland made 28 saves to get credited with the win at the pipes.
Lemmon said he’s pleased to see the Generals turn things around.
“If you look over at last month and where the team was going, we are now in a good spot,” said Lemmon. “We have a lot of great kids and we’re playing some entertaining hockey. I am really looking forward to the New Year and see where we can take this in.”
The Generals have two games to play this month before the Christmas break, against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings and the Westshore Wolves.