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‘Fretzky’ helps Gens win third in a row
Michael Fretz fed the net for four goals and Oceanside’s Save-On-Foods Generals clobbered the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 7-4 in VIJHL action Saturday night.
It was the fourth meeting this year between the two teams — Comox won the first two games, Oceanside has taken the last two.
“Michael had a great game — he was on fire,” Gens’ head coach and GM Brent Demerais confirmed when asked about the efforts of his team’s leading goal-getter, then chuckled and said “after the game some of his teammates started calling him ‘Fretzky’ (as in Gretzky).”
The win, Oceanside’s third straight, knocked Comox out of top spot in the North division, as a Nanaimo win (12-11-2) put the Buccaneers in top spot with 26 points, two points up on Comox at 11-12-2, and four up on Oceanside who improved to 10-14-2. The Victoria Cougars continue to tighten their grip on top spot overall in the nine team league with 52 points (25-1-1).
Against the Yeti’s in Comox Saturday night, Travis Flug opened the scoring 9:54 in and Fretz made it 2-0 at 12:36, which is how it stood after 20 minutes. Newest Gen Carson McCulloch made it 3-zip 4:44 into the second; Comox cut it to 3-1, Riel Gibson scored short handed to make it 4-1, Comox cut it to 4-2, and Fretz scored twice in the span of 46 seconds to make it 6-2 at the second intermission.
The Glacier Kings scored midway through the third to pull to make it 6-3, Fretz scored his fourth goal of the game and 18th of the season to make it 7-3, and Comox scored on the power play with under two minutes remaining, but that was as close as they’d get.
AP call-up, winger Logan Savard, 16, from the Port Alberni Midget team, laced up for his seventh game with the Generals on Saturday (because of all the injuries).
“He had a really good game — probably his best game of the year,” said Demerais.
Comox outshot Oceanside 31-27 on the night — the Gens were 0-for-2 on the power play the ‘Kings 2-for-4. Oceanside’s Kiefer Giroux made 33 saves to earn the win in net — Fretz was named the game’s second star, and teammate Riel Gibson, who had a goal and three helpers on the night, was the third star.
“We’ve been working on keeping our goals against down so I was a bit disappointed with allowing the four goals,” Demerais said of the win, “other than that I thought the guys played a good 50 minutes of hockey.”
ICE CHIPS: The Generals had a new player in the lineup Saturday night — 19-year-old McCulloch from Port Alberni, acquired from the Campbell River Storm Saturday morning.
“He’s got good hands. He’s very offensive, I know him and I know what he brings to the table — he could be a great fit, especially for our power play,” said Demerais. “I don’t think he was a right fit for Campbell River — he wasn’t playing very much, and I think he just needed a new address to get his game going again.”
Local forward James Sneddon, who has been out of the lineup close to three weeks with a shoulder injury, was cleared to play in Comox but was a last minute scratch as Demerais “decided to give him one more week off. We’re looking forward to getting him back — he’s a big addition for our club.”
GAME ON: The Generals are in Saanich Friday night to take on the second place Braves (19-4-1), and return home to Saturday for a big showdown against the Buccaneers. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.