The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals had two tough missions last week.
And they ended up splitting their games against two of the tough teams in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League – first losing to the Victoria Cougars 5-4 in overtime on the road on Oct. 24, then coming back to notch another shutout win against the Campbell River Storm at Oceanside Place, Oct. 26.
Against the Cougars, the Generals traded shots with the defending champions and at the end of three periods, the score was tied 4-4. In extra time, the Generals unfortunately took an untimely penalty and paid dearly for it as the Cougars capitalized on the man-advantage with Evan Easton netting the winning goal.
Generals captain Landon Dziadyk led the offence, scoring twice with two helpers. Aiden Sutherland and Elijah Goyer were the other scorers for the Generals.
Goalie James Brendeland took the loss between the pipes despite turning away 41 of the 46 shots he faced that night. The Generals were outshot 46-33.
On Saturday, the Generals hosted the Campbell River Storm for the second time at Oceanside Place. It was another strong defensive game by both teams.
After two scoreless periods, it was the Generals that found the back of the net first at 13:31 scored by Will Norman, with Cage Newans and Aleko Karamanis assisting in the play. They defended the lead and in the last minute, the Storm pulled goalie Aaron de Kok for the extra attacker. The plan backfired when Dawson Heathcote scored an empty-netter unassisted to give the Generals 2-0 win.
Goaltender Brendelan was credited for the shut out making 26 saves. It was his ninth win of the season. He improved his save percentage to .934.
Brendeland, who is a Parksville product, earned VIJHL Player of the Week honours for his brilliant performance in his last two games, stopping 67 of the 72 shots he faced while picking up his third shutout of the season.
“James is committed every day to improve both on and off the ice,” said head coach Dan Lemmon. “He is a leader in our room and a calming influence when he’s in the crease.”
The Generals improved their record to 12 wins and four losses and continue to lead the North Division standings.
ICE CHIPS: This week, the Generals take on archrivals the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Halloween night at the Nanaimo Ice Centre at 7:15 p.m. Then on Nov. 1, the Generals host the struggling Comox Valley Glacier Kings at Oceanside Place at 7 p.m.