The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals are the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s North Division champions.
The Gens swept their best-of-seven playoff series against regular-season powerhouse Campbell River Storm in four straight games, sealing the series with a 5-0 in Game 4 Thursday (March 17) before a happy home crowd at Oceanside Place.
Throughout the series the Generals consistently played with high intensity, which the Storm could not match.
Coach Dan Lemmon credits the result of their earlier hard-fought series against the Comox Glacier Kings, which went a full seven games, for paving the path to their domination of the Storm.
“Having played Game 6 and 7 against Comox with our backs against the wall, do-or-die and we had to win those games, it set us up for playing desperate hockey,” said Lemmon. “We didn’t want to get through the playoffs where we have regrets. We just had to elevate our game and we did that in the last series and just continued that through against Campbell River.”
In Game 4, the Generals, like they did in the first three games, quickly stamped their dominance by grabbing the early lead. They scored three early goals in a row, from Brendan Carlson, Carter Johnson and Braedan Leary. They extended the lead to 4-0 in the second when Leary scored his second goal of the night.
In the final frame, the Generals defence continued to keep the Storm off the scoreboard and put the game out of reach when Brayden Ross made it 5-0.
Lemmon credits the team’s leadership group, which showed when they led throughout the series and never trailed.
“I read it was 14-1 scoring in the first period,” said Lemmon. “It comes down to our kids knowing how to prepare every night and being excited to win hockey games.”
The Generals advance to the VIJHL final and will aim to lift the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy, which the last won in 2009. They will face the winners of the South Division final between Kerry Park Islanders and Peninsula Panthers, who lead the series 3-1. They play Game 4 tonight (March 18).
During the regular season the Generals had a 1-1 record against both the Islanders and Panthers.