The Oceanside Generals have signed Qualicum Beach goaltender Matthew Spencer-Dahl.
The 17-year-old backstop stole the show in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League last year. As an affiliate player of the Generals, he was called in to man the pipes when both regular Generals goalies became unavailable due to injury and COVID-19 protocol.
Spencer-Dahl made a good impression when he posted three shutout wins in a row. In his VIJHL debut, Spencer-Dahl helped the Generals blank the Nanaimo Buccaneers 7-0 (Jan. 26), and then followed it up with two more shutout wins against the Port Alberni Bombers in their home-and-home set, 8-0 (Jan. 28) and 2-0 (Jan. 29).
Spencer-Dahl’s impressive performance garnered him the North Division goaltender of the week honours. He posted a 3-1-0 record with a .934 save percentage. At the time, he indicated he would love the opportunity to play for the Generals next season.
Meanwhile, the VIJHL just released the schedule for the 2022-23 season. The Generals, reached the league final last season, will kick off their 2022-23 campaign at home against the Port Alberni Bombers at Oceanside Place on Sept. 9.
This year’s schedule has been reduced to 48 games, with non-divisional opponents to face each other four times, up from two in 2021-22. Each non-divisional opponent will play two home and two road games against each other. The balance of the 48 games will be played inside the divisions.
“Divisional games are always exciting, but this move allows a little more diversity in the schedule. Fans always love seeing the out-division teams pay a visit to their local rink and this will limit the need for a team to see the same divisional opponent for nine or 10 games in a season,” said VIJHL president Simon Morgan.
The decision to drop to 48 games will provide VIJHL players with a little more rest in-season and allow clubs to have more prime night home games.