Oceanside Generals’ first win on the road

Generals Captain Travis Flug on a breakaway vs Nanaimo Buccaneers on Saturday night. - Tyson Taylor Photo
Generals Captain Travis Flug on a breakaway vs Nanaimo Buccaneers on Saturday night.
— image credit: Tyson Taylor Photo

Tyson Taylor

It was a roller coaster weekend, to say the least, for the Save-on-Foods Oceanside Generals. Friday night saw them win 4-0 in Saanich, followed by a 5-0 loss to the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Saturday.

On Friday night, Michael Markland scored twice — Nate Fitzpatrick and Cory Burnett had singles —  in the 4–0 victory. Evgeuni Makarski saw 28 shots on goal for the Generals and stopped them all for the shutout.

A close game from the start, the rough stuff boiled over in the second period, which led to Generals forward Devin Warfield dropping the mitts after Braves Jordan Groenheyde wouldn’t let Warfield skate away until Warfield obliged.

That seemed to spark the Generals, who went on to score two goals in the second period. The win over Saanich marked the first time the Generals picked up a road win this season.

Saturday night against the Nanaimo Buccaneers was a completely different story, and not for the right reasons. The Generals couldn’t match the pace of Nanaimo, which scored two goals in the first period to take the 2–0 lead heading into the second. That’s when the game took a drastic and nasty turn.

Burnett, a 17-year-old from Powell River, ended up on the wrong end of an elbow to the head from Buccaneers forward Eric Kennelly. The blow knocked Burnett out cold — his helmet and visor went spiraling through the air after the nasty collision. No penalty was called on the play by referee Jarrett Taylor.

Coach Dan Lemmon was eventually tossed from the game after he had a few choice words for Taylor. Burnett was taken to the hospital for evaluation after being stretchered off the ice. He was released that night and has been back  for tests the past couple of days.

The Generals report that Burnett has a stiff neck, a sore and bruised face and likely a concussion.

“It’s hard having to be up here and watching the guys, not being able to be down there on the bench and helping them out,” Lemmon said from the stands in the third period Saturday night.

“There’s really nothing you can do about it except watch as a spectator and pick up some things to work on after this one.”

After an hour-long delay (it took 40 minutes for the ambulance to get to the rink as blankets were piled on Burnett, who was kept motionless on the ice), the game resumed. The Buccaneers scored two more goals in the second period and added one more in the third to seal it 5–0.

The Generals are back in Nanaimo to face those same Buccaneers on Thursday at 7:15. Then it’s back home on Saturday night to host the Campbell River Storm. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at Oceanside Place.

“I couldn’t think of any other team I’d want to play on Thursday than them. There’s going to be some bad blood there but it’ll make it more fun. We’ll be well prepared for that one,” said Captain Travis Flug.

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