The Save-on-Foods Oceanside Generals recently got new jerseys and the colour is indicative of how they’re playing.
Last week, the Generals beat two of the top teams in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. They first stopped one of their main rivals in the North Division, the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, 6-1 at Oceanside Place on Nov. 11. Then on Saturday night, they hosted the leading team in the South Division, the Victoria Cougars, and scored a 4-1 decision in front of delighted home fans.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Matthew Hutchison, who backstopped the Generals in their win against the Cougars. “These games are always tight. We’ve got fans in the building and they’re always buzzing. You always get a lot of energy over these games. And being able to come away means a lot.”
The 16-year-old Hutchison, drafted by the Vancouver Giants in the Western Hockey League in 2021, is 6-1 so far this season and leads the VIJHL with a 0.947 save percentage and 1.49 goals against average. Against the Cougars he kept his composure and adeptly turned away 27 shots.
“It was really fun,” said Hutchison. “The boys were really working hard in front of me. A couple of shots in there for the most part that the boys kept on the outside and make my life really easy throughout the whole game.”
The Generals aggressive forechecking game and physical defensive play were key in both games and frustrated both the Glacier Kings and Cougars.
The Cougars struggled to keep up and took too many penalties that ended up to be costly as the Generals capitalized on, scoring goals on the man-advantage. Brendan Carlson scored twice and had an assist to lead the Generals. Jacob Thomas and Evan Dyce had one goal each. Dante Paziuk, who was named the top star of the game, had three assists.
Against the Glacier Kings, the Generals came out strong from start to finish. They opened the scoring with two power-play goals netted by Carlson and Miles Carson. Although the Glacier Kings got one back, the Generals continued their unrelenting offence that led to four unanswered goals.
Other scorers for the Generals were Tyler Gyori who had two goals including a short-handed marker in the third, Braeden Leary and Parker Klippentein each notching a goal.
Goalie Ashton Sadauskas earned the win in goal, making 32 saves. He is 9-2 so far this season.
The Generals new lead North Division and the league with 16 wins, three losses, one overtime loss and two shootout losses for 35 points.
This week, the Generals are again playing at home and host the Saanich Predators at Oceanside Place on Saturday, Nov. 19. Puck drops at 7 p.m.
Hutchison said he would love to be in goal against the Predators, who have beaten the Generals 3-2 the last time they played at Oceanside Place on Nov. 5.
“Definitely want to get some revenge against them,” said Hutchison. “I got a couple of buddies on that team and definitely would love to give it back to them.”