The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals clinched the North Division of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
The Generals have regained their true form after going into a slump that started in December.
They’ve bounced back, posting a six-game winning streak that was however disrupted when they lost a close 3-2 game against the league’s number one team, the Victoria Cougars, on the road on Feb. 16.
It was a makeup game from Jan. 16 but one that gauged the Generals’ strengths and weaknesses heading into post-regular season play.
Despite the loss, the Generals secured their No. 1 spot in the North Division standings with 30 wins and 14 losses for 62 points. Their closest rivals and perennial powerhouse in the VIJHL, the Campbell River Storm, who were just trailing the Generals by two points before last weekend, suffered back-to-back losses against the No. 1 Cougars 6-2 and suffered a 4-0 loss against the last placed team in the league, the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
This is the first time the Generals had finished on top of their division since the 2008-09 season.
“Clinching first place was something we had in mind at the start of the year,” said Generals captain Landon Dziadyk, who is in his last year with the team. “It all kind of came together and something we’re all happy for in time for the playoffs.”
The Generals still have two regular-season games left but they already know who they facing in the first round of the playoffs.
They will take on the Kerry Park Islanders who lie in the bottom of the South Division with 11 wins and 34 losses. In their last four encounters, the Generals have beaten the Islanders.
Prior to facing the Cougars, the Generals took on the Comox Valley Glaciers Kings twice. They first beat the Glacier Kings 6-2 on Valentine’s Day at home. Scorers for the Generals were Dawson Heathcote, Sean Brendeland, Liam Moody, Landon Dziadyk, Isaac Leik, and Brady Kay.
Then the next night, the Generals travelled to Comox and notched another 6-1 win. Scorers for the Generals were Greyson Weme, Brett Arnet, Dziadyk, Elijah Goyer, Moody and Justin Scott.
This Friday, Feb 21, the Generals will head to Saanich to take on the Braves at George Pearkes Arena at 6:30 p.m. Then the next night, the Generals close out the regular season at home at Oceanside Place against the Campbell River Storm at 7 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: Cage Newans was called up to play for the Victoria Royals in the Western Hockey League on Valentine’s Day against the Vancouver Giants. The Generals forward earned his first WHL point when he assisted on the Royals first goal in the first period. They ended losing 5-2. He’s has been asked to play in the games against Kamloops as well.