It wasn’t what the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals had hoped for in their home opener on Saturday night as they dropped an 8–0 decision to the Campbell River Storm.
The Generals kicked off the night in front of another great crowd with the unveiling of their third jerseys for the season.
After a ceremonial puck drop from MLA Michelle Stillwell and Pheasant Glen Golf Course and Arizona Coyotes owner William Dutton singing O’ Canada, it was time for some hockey.
It was the Storm striking early in the first minute of the game, taking the crowd out of it early.
Starting goaltender David Anderson, from Santa Clarita, California, was busy all night facing 41 shots, stopping 35.
Austin Caktas, from Port Coquitlam, came on in relief in the third period and made 11 saves on 13 shots. In total, the two goalies faced 54 shots.
“They need our help out there, plain and simple,” said defenseman Chandler Bruyckere. “We made it tough on our goalies tonight. Anderson stood on his head in there for us and made a lot of good saves.
“He was doing his part but we let him down as a team in front of him and we can’t be doing stuff like that.”
Bruyckere was one of three players returning to the Generals so far this season from last year’s squad and with a few more players potentially returning from junior A camps throughout the upcoming week, the Generals’ lineup will receive a boost in terms of experience playing at the junior B level.
“I liked the veteran presence we had out there on Saturday night,” head coach Jason Johns said.
“Markland and Savard showed their leadership on the ice for us and that’s a good thing to have for our team.”
“With the rest of the guys coming back that we know are coming back, we’ll be able to really work on what we need to work on as a team and really bring it all together.”
Playing on the road against the Nanaimo Buccaneers, the Generals dropped their first game 5–2. Down 4–0 in the first period, the Gens managed to cut the lead in half in the second frame.
They kept pushing back but an empty net goal sealed the win for the Bucs, handing the Gens their first loss of the season. While the loss to Campbell River on Saturday gives them two losses early in the season, head coach Jason Johns likes what he’s seen.
“They showed a lot of resilience in the game against Nanaimo,” Johns said. “To go down four in the first period, a lot of times teams just pack it in. These guys pushed back and fought hard all game so that was good to see.”
The Generals are off to Comox to face the Glacier Kings this Friday and will return home on Saturday night to host the Westshore Wolves.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Oceanside Place and you can hear the game live on 88.5 The Beach with Dominic Abassi.