The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals saw their season come to a heartbreaking end.
Trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff final series, the Generals were hoping to force a deciding game, but ended up losing 4-3 in overtime against the Peninsula Panthers in Game 6 Friday at the Panorama Recreation Centre.
The win gave the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy as VIJHL champions to the Panthers for the first time since 2011. The Panthers advance to the Cyclone Taylor Cup, where they will face the winners of the Pacific Junior Hockey League, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, and the host team, the Delta Hawks of the PJHL.
The Generals after dropping the first three games of the series, made a gallant comeback, earning impressive wins in Games 4 and 5 to keep their title hopes alive.
In Game 6, they started out strong and got the early lead but were not able to hang on. Carter Johnson, Evan Dyce and Trey Boylan each tallied a goal for the Generals.
Oceanside goalie Ashton Sadauskas had another stellar game between pipes, stopping 28 of 31 Peninsula shots.
In the first period, Johnson stunned the Panthers with a quick goal just 30 seconds into the frame with Greyson Weme assisting. Less than a minute later, Dyce made it 2-0 for the Generals. The Panthers quickly bounced back with Aleko Sdrakas netting a goal at 6:19 and just over two minutes later, Logan Speirs tied it up 2-2.
The second period was scoreless and in the third, the Generals took the lead again on Boylan’s unassisted goal at the 8:42 mark. The Generals had a chance to seal the game but couldn’t contain the Panthers offence, whih broke the deadlock with less than two minutes left to play with Speirs bulging the twine again to force the match into sudden-death overtime.
The Panthers ended up clinching the title as Speirs scored his third goal of the night 1:37 into OT.
Although the Generals fell short of their goal, the coaches, team executives, staff, volunteers, parents and fans thanked the team for the outstanding effort they put in this season.