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VIJHL final: Panthers strike first with 2-1 win over Oceanside Generals

Peninsula converts on late power play to capture Game 1
Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne and Qualicum Beach Mayor Brian Wiese drop ceremonial pucks to launch Game 1 of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League final between the Oceanside Generals and Peninsula Panthers March 23 at Oceanside Place. (Michael Briones photo)

The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals dropped the opening game of their best-of-seven Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff final series, falling 2-1 to the visiting Peninsula Panthers Wednesday (March 23) at Oceanside Place.

Riley Braun scored the game-winner on a power play at 16:37 of the final period, breaking a 1-1 deadlock.

Tanner Banks scored the other Peninsula goal, with Carter Johnson tallying the lone Oceanside marker.

With the score tied 1-1 in the third, Generals captain Brett Arnet, who had been doling out some hard checks throughout the night, was called for checking from behind and given a game misconduct with 3:41 left to play. The Panthers capitalized, with Braun roofing a shot at close range past Generals goalie Ashton Sadauskas.

The Generals made a desperate effort with just over a minute left to play, pulling Sadauskas for an extra attacker but were unable to equalize.

From the beginning, the game was closely contested. The Panthers had a slight edge offensively and had the Generals fighting off a strong forechecking game for most of the night.

READ MORE: Parksville, Qualicum Beach mayors issue friendly wager ahead of VIJHL final

Oceanside did strike first at 14:04 of the second period, when top scorer Johnson skated past the Panthers defence to score unassisted.

In the third, Peninsula equalized at the 6:04 mark, setting the stage for Braun’s winner.

Sadauskas finished the game with 38 saves, while Brady Kelly got the win in goal for the Panthers, making 30 stops.

Game 2 will be played on Friday, March 25 at Panorama Recreation Centre at 7:30 p.m. Game 3 moves back to Oceanside Place on Sunday, March 27 at 7 p.m.

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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