The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals picked up their first win of 2016 on Saturday night, a 4-3 victory over the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
Coming off a loss to the Campbell River Storm on Friday night, which saw the Generals on the receiving end of a lopsided 13-1 game, the team bounced back with a better effort against the Bucs at home on Saturday night.
Newly acquired Matteo Giomo scored what would prove to be the game winner for the Gens, giving them their first win of the New Year.
Mathieu Jallabert found the back of the net twice while Sebastian Powsey was credited for a short handed goal after an errant pass from the Bucs’ Will McNamara went off Powsey’s skate and past Bucs goaltender Alex Orth.
“I thought that was the best 60 minute effort we’ve had all season,” head coach Brad Knight said. “We battled well and instead of having a few guys having bad shifts, everyone rallied around each other and that really lifted us to where we needed to be.”
Saturday night’s effort for the Generals was much better than the one they had the previous night against Campbell River. Things didn’t get off to a good start for the Generals, as the team bus was late picking them up and arrived 10 minutes before pre-game warm-ups.
“They like to play that way,” Knight said. “Normally, when you’re up big you let the foot off the gas but Campbell River likes to embarrass people, that’s the kind of class they show as a team but I’m glad with the way we bounced back against Nanaimo.”
“We’re learning, we’re deep into the season and you can see they’re doing what they can so when we get an effort like this, it’s nice to see that they’re able to put it together like that.”
The Generals found themselves down five minutes into the second period, with back-to-back five on three power plays going the way of the Buccaneers. Killing off the first pair of penalties with plenty of blocked shots, the Gens allowed just the one power play goal in the six minutes of penalty kill.
“An experience becomes an experience,” Knight said. “I took a bad penalty from the bench, it was the heat of the moment but they did well to kill it off. It’s those little things, blocking shots, things like that put you deep in the game. For us to come out with a big win at home, for our fans that have been supportive of us all season, it’s great all around. They played a great game for 60 minutes and I thought this was a great game of hockey from both teams, really exciting.”
Wednesday night the Gens are back in action against the Saanich Braves in Saanich, who are only four points ahead of the Gens in the VIJHL standings. Friday night the Gens are at home against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings (7:30 p.m. puck drop at Oceanside Place) and Saturday night they visit the Kerry Park Islanders.