The Oceanside Generals edged the Campbell River Storm 3-2 in overtime in Game 3 of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League North Division final on Saturday night, March 18 at Howie Meeker Arena.
The Generals now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Game 4 will be played in Campbell River’s Rod Brind’Amour Arena on Tuesday, March 21.
It was another close game that was highlighted by a wild ending in overtime.
The Generals started strong, opening with a power play goal by Tyler Gyori two minutes and 30 seconds into the first period. But the Storm quickly responded, 16 seconds later, with Ethan Matchin notching a goal to tie it up 1-1. The Storm then surged ahead in the second on Carter Boer’s power play marker and were able to sustain the lead until three quarters of the final period.
The Generals were pressing, playing with some desperation. The tide changed in the Generals’ favour when Benjamin Groome fired a shot from the point that surprised everyone, especially Storm goalie Nick Peters, when the puck soared into the net to square things at 2-2. It stayed that way until the end of the third force the game into extra time play.
In overtime, the Generals looked re-energized and defenceman Brady Van Herk led the charge. He steered the puck behind the Storm’s net and was able to get into scoring position with only goalie Peters standing in the way. He initially hit the puck into Peters’ leg pad but had two or three more chances to jab it in before everyone tried to get involved in the play. During the chaotic moment, the referee whistled and pointed to the puck, signifying a goal.
“I put some work behind the net and start a wrap around,” said Van Herk after the game. “We’re still not sure who actually scored it between me a Dante (Paziuk). But either way we won the game and we’re up 2-1 going back to Campbell River. Now that is huge.”
Van Herk said they struggled in the first and second period. But he is pleased that they played better in the final frame.
“It was tough but the way we played in the third … if we play like that all game, they just can’t keep up with us,” said Van Herk. “It took us a while to get going but once we did, we were fine.”
Game 4 will be played in Campbell River’s Rod Brind’Amour Arena on Monday, March 21.
Here is the playoff schedule between the Generals and Storm:
• March 21 — Rod Brind’Amour Arena
• March 23 — Oceanside Place at 7: 15 p.m. (if necessary)
• March 24 — Rod Brind’Amour Arena (if necessary)
• March 25 — Oceanside Place at 7: 15 p.m. (if necessary)
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