Oceanside’s Ethan Harvey

Rep midgets to open Island hockey semifinals

Oceanside bantams, peewees bow out in North Island round-robin play

The Oceanside bantam and peewee Generals saw their 2017 playoff hopes end with losses last weekend, but the Midget Generals will move on to the Vancouver Island Tier 2 semifinals as the top qualifier in the North Division.

The Bantam Generals wrapped up the five-team, North Division round-robin with a rousing, 11-1 road victory Sunday against the Comox Valley Chiefs.

But the team suffered a 10-6 home loss to Nanaimo two nights earlier that, combined with Campbell River’s earlier win over Nanaimo, clinched Campbell River the second and final North Division berth into the Vancouver Island semifinals. Powell River earned the top seed in the NorthDivision round-robin.

The Peewee Generals wrapped up their postseason with a 6-1 loss Saturday at Campbell River to finish 1-3 in the round-robin. The peewees got off to a rousing start in the three-week playoffs with a 5-3 win over Nanaimo, followed by a narrow, 3-2 loss to eventual North winner Powell River.

But the Generals dropped an 8-6 home loss to Comox Valley Feb. 5 to fall to 1-2 going into the round-robin finale at Campbell River.

The midgets swept through the five-team round-robin without a loss, going 3-0-1 to clinch the top seed and a home semifinal date against Cowichan Valley, the No. 2 qualifier from the South.

Campbell River, which claimed the North’s No. 2 seed, will travel to face South No. 1 Peninsula in the other Tier 2 semi.

As of Wednesday morning, the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association had not confirmed a day or time for Oceanside’s semifinal, but Parksville’s Oceanside Place has a ice slot reserved at 2:15 p.m. Saturday for an unspecified “Island League playoff game.”

The winners of the two semifinals will meet in a best-of-three series for the Island’s slot in the Tier 2 provincial championships.

Oceanside Bantam General Sean Brendeland (10) blows through Nanaimo’s Tavish Parkhurst during their Vancouver Island Tier 2 playoff hockey game Saturday at Oceanside Place. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS

Bantam

Nanaimo 10, Oceanside 6

Already essentially out of the playoffs, the bantams struggled to keep the visiting Clippers off the scoreboard in their first loss to Nanaimo this season.

Nanaimo scored in flurries, even as the Generals carried much of the run of play. Bantam coach Troy Newans credited Clippers goaltender Brenden Wylie with keeping Oceanside at bay.

“Wylie was fabulous in their net,” said Newans. “Our goaltending could have been a little more solid, but I give Nanaimo credit. They played a heck of a game.”

Kobe Verbicky had two goals and an assist to pace the Oceanside offence. Sean Brendeland, Matthew Chand, Steven Callewaert and Brenden Jamieson also found the net for the Generals, who tied the game 2-2 early in the second period before Nanaimo punched in a flurry of four straight goals midway through the period.

Peewee

Campbell River 6, Oceanside 1

The host Tyees crafted a 5-0 lead before the Generals averted the shutout when Easton Sandberg scored off an assist from Brodie Simpson midway through the third period.

“They just outplayed us,” said Simpson. “Our team expected going in just to play our own game and thought we’d do well. Maybe we just went in taking it lightly.”