The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals lived to fight another day.
Down 2-0 after the first period, the Generals rallied for a crucial 7-4 win over the Peninsula Panthers in Game 5 of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey league final series at Oceanside Place on Wednesday, March 30.
Forward Greyson Weme, who was playing his 200th game with the Generals, was the star of the game. He netted three exciting goals, all in the final period, to keep the Generals’ title hopes alive in the best-of-seven series, which they now trail 3-2.
Oceanside’s top scorer Carter Johnson led the comeback in the second as he tallied two goals, while captain Brett Arnet had three assists and defenceman Brady Van Herk had two helpers.
Goalie Ashton Sadauskas remained composed despite giving up two goals in the first. He turned away 30 of the 32 shots he faced.
It was a shaky first period for the Generals defence as they coughed up the puck twice near their blue-line, leading to Panthers goals from Riley Braun and Denver Maloney.
The Generals came storming back in a big way in the second with Johnson leading the way with a goal just two minutes into the frame. Miles Carson tied it up at 5:15. The Generals lost momentum when they took a penalty at the midway mark and it cost them as Hunter Jensen put the Panthers ahead 3-2. The Generals bounced back and with their aggressive offence, they tied it up 3-3 on Nolan Kehoe’s marker at 12:50. Less than two minutes later, Johnson, who has been a constant threat near the goal, was able to redirect the puck past Panthers goalie Ashton Lukan to give the Generals a 4-3 lead.
In third, the Panthers had control early and pinned the Generals inside their zone with their strong forechecking. It paid off with Ryan Grambart squaring things at 4-4 at 6:40. The Generals quickly regrouped with Weme sparking the offence with three successive goals to seal the win.
Game 6 willl be played at the Panorama Recreation Centre on Friday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m.