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Players’ assignment offers some insight

Generals told to show who they are and what they're capable of doing
Noah Russi gives pointers to one of the young players during the recent’s Oceanside Minor Hockey Jamboree. Russi and his teammates went into the week hoping to bring their opening round VIJHL series back to Parksville for a Game 5 tonight.

Oceanside Generals skipper Dave Johnston talked Monday about how they need “every single one of our players to show everybody who they are, what they stand for and what they’re capable of doing.”

The Generals’ long-serving bench boss also talked about an interesting assignment he gave his players after last Friday’s loss.

“You’re always looking for different ways to get into these young athletes minds (and) the test last night was simply ‘Who are you and what do you bring to this team?’, and boy ... the spectrum of what you get back on a piece of paper is amazing, and not just the words. Everything from the paper it’s presented on to the thought process.”

Johnston explained that earlier in the year he told the players that they need to understand that everything at the Jr. B level is a test.

“Whether they end up moving up or not, they all come here to aspire to play at a higher level,” he said, explaining that in the case of this recent psychology test, that test could very well come up in the conversation when he’s talking to Jr. A coaches about a specific player.

“The whole idea was to try and get them into a positive frame of mind about themselves as individuals and what they can contribute to our team’s success.”

The mood he said “is good. Again, I think we’ve got good leadership in Yammers and Belsie ... there’s a good group in there.”

OUT ON THE ICE helping out and giving back at Sunday’s Oceanside Minor Hockey Jamboree was local Gen Noah Russi.

The home grown blueliner, who came up through Oceanside Minor Hockey and recalls the fun he had coming up at the jamborees, looked to be right at home and having fun with the youngsters, and at one point during a break in the action he sat down and spoke with The News on the home team’s bench at Howie Meeker Arena.

“I think we’ve been playing good; we could have just as easily won those games ... last night I think we played a whole 60 minutes and stuck to the game plan; we just didn’t get the bounces. It was a tough loss.

“Just stay focused; stay controlled, bear down and take it one shift at a time,” he said when asked what they need to do as players from here on out with the potential there to come unravelled.

Russi said he has learned a lot and had fun in his rookie season. He has his sights set on making the jump to Jr. A next year, which his coach said he has a good shot at. In the meantime, the easy going teen made the point he and his teammates don’t want the season to end.


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