With the calendar turning to 2015, the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals were looking to turn their fortunes around with their first game after the Christmas break, against the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
Both teams were looking to get back in to the win column, as the Bucs were coming off two losses so far in the New Year. The Generals, on the other hand, were looking for their first win in eight games.
The Gens would jump out to an early two-goal lead, but found themselves down a goal with time winding down in the third. Chase Gaudreault would pounce on a loose puck and put it in the back of the net, tying the game 6-6 with 30 seconds left. Overtime would settle nothing for either team and the game finished in a 6-6 tie.
“We played a good game coming out of the break,” head coach Rob Gaudreault said. “Having given up two, two goal leads was tough but we managed to keep our heads and plug away. We had a chance to finish it in the back end of the second overtime but just weren’t able to pull it out.”
That chance came, again, for Chase, who circled the net with less than five seconds to play. A mad scramble in front of the net caused the Bucs goaltender Liam Young to end up out of his net, leaving an open cage for Gaudreault. Not seeing it right away, Chase would eventually put a contested shot on goal, hitting the post as time ran out.
“That was a tough one, for sure,” Chase Gaudreault said. “I had my back to the net coming around and didn’t see what had happened. By the time I got the puck on net, a defender scrambled back and got a piece of the shot and I hit the post. Pretty frustrating to have that chance for the win and not come through for the team.”
Coming up big for the Gens on this night was Parksville native Travis Flug, who put the Generals on the board early in the game with two goals just over a minute apart. Flug finished the first period with three points (two goals, one assist) and would add one more assist in the second for a four-point night. All of this came with a new stick that Flug found under the tree at Christmas time with his name on it.
“It’s nice to have a night like this once and a while,” Flug said after the game. “It gives you a lot more confidence with what you’re trying to do out there as an individual and goes a long way in helping the team be that much closer to a win. We played hard tonight and could have had the win, but we’ll still take that point.”
The Generals are back in action this Friday as they take on the Campbell River Storm, who sits first in the VJIHL. Sunday afternoon, the Gens are home to host the Kerry Park Islanders for a 2:30 p.m. start at Oceanside Place.