After losing back-to-back games to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings last week, the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals are looking to get back in the win column this weekend against the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
Last night ,the Generals were in Victoria to take on the Westshore Wolves (score not available at press time). The Gens lost both games in a home and home with the Glacier Kings last weekend, with the game on Saturday much closer than the Friday-night blowout.
They have another chance Saturday at home against the Buccaneers (7:30 p.m. at Oceanside Place).
Even though the Generals lost last Saturday night at home 3-2, it could have gone either way.
“I liked it, I liked the way we played Saturday night,” head coach Brad Knight said. “When you lose in a blowout, it’s not fun for anyone. But in a hard-fought game like this one, where there were chances on both sides and both teams battled hard, this is a game that I’d take over a blowout any night of the week. We worked hard, had some good scoring chances and it was close, it was a positive sign for us as a team after getting beat by four goals the night before.”
Ten games into the season the Gens have two wins, seven losses and a tie. Though the record says one thing, the effort on the ice is what Knight is watching.
“It’s coming along,” Knight said. “As a team, we’re heading in the right direction. At the 10- game mark, I like where we’re at and I like where we’re headed. I’m all about commitment and character, team first guys, we’ve had ten games to look at this roster and we’re going to make some tough decisions that people are going to be surprised by.”
“If you want to survive, you’ve got to cull the weak and these are the kind of decisions that we as an organization need to start making to get to where we want to be.”
One of those decisions saw goaltender Matt Henwood getting his first career start in the VIJHL at home on Saturday night. Henwood, a 16-year-old from Comox, showed well in his debut, giving up three goals on 25 shots while making some key saves.
“We saw lots of young players in our lineup last weekend,” Knight said. “Henwood getting the start, as a 16-year-old, he played pretty well for his first game starting in net. We had three 16 year olds and two 17 year olds in our lineup over the weekend; they all played well and handled themselves well. I’m more than confident with what we’re going to move forward with.”
“Yes, winning and losing makes a difference but we need to have our focus on making the playoffs, from here on out. Winning in any sport is tough, it’s not something you change overnight but at the end of the day, we need to just be ready for the playoffs.”
“We need to win enough games here in the regular season to make the playoffs, plain and simple. We’ll make a couple decisions this week on the roster and get on with it.”