Oceanside’s Save-On-Foods Generals return home this weekend looking to bounce back from last week’s 3-1 loss to the Buccaneers at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Nanaimo outshot Oceanside 35-27 on the night — Gens’ goalie Kiefer Giroux made 32 saves in a losing cause.
The Generals were 1-for-2 on the power play, the Bucs 0-for-1.
Nanaimo scored the only two goals of the first period and were leading 3-0 early in the second when Riel Gibson (Quinlan Moore) scored on the PP for Oceanside’s lone marker — the teams played to a scoreless third.
“We’re looking forward to getting back at it this week,” Gens’ head coach and GM Brent Demerais said of his team’s three-games in four days — the Generals are home Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon — pointing out “that last game in Nanaimo we had six guys out of the lineup and a couple guys were playing hurt. We’re dealing with some injuries right now,” he said, then confirmed that reinforcements are on their way.
Demerais, who still has “lots of cards left” has just signed Nick Kapusty, 18, by way of the Saanich Braves. Demerais says the 6’, 190 pound winger from Penticton “is more of a sandpaper guy. He’s a grinder, he plays physical. He’s someone that’s going to go to the net and handles himself but someone that can play, too. He’ll be a good winger out there to make room for some of our smaller players.”
At this point of the season, nearing the midway mark of the 48 game regular season sked — the Generals don’t have a single player in the VIJHL’s list of top-20 scorers.
Nanaimo native Riel Gibson currently leads the team in points at 19 with four goals and 15 assists. Michael Fretz (Snohomish, WA), and Cam McCarrick (Port McNeal) lead the team in scoring as the only two in double digits with 13 and 10 goals respectively.
QB’s Taylor Gray is second on the team in points with six goals and 11 helpers in.
His short bench aside, Demerais said the team’s work ethic “is unbelievable. These guys are working hard. The whole group of guys are dedicated. They go to Genesis (Boxing & Fitness) every Tuesday together and (head trainer) Rick said last night this is the hardest working team he’s ever seen, and thats what ya gotta have, because conditioning will pay huge, and I mean huge dividends down the road. I’m totally happy with the work ethic of the guys and what Rick does for us.”
Oceanside was 8-11-2 on the season heading into this week’s VIJHL action and a point back of the Buccaneers for 2nd in the North Division. The Generals were back at it against those same ‘Bucs in Nanaimo again Thursday night (score from that game unavailable at press time) and return to Oceanside Place Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff against the visiting 12-9 Westshore Wolves.
Back at it Sunday against the 12-9-1 Peninsula Panthers (2:30 p.m. start).