Going head-to-head with matching 4-0-1 league records, the Oceanside Bantam Generals and the Peninsula Eagles provided a contrast in styles Saturday at Oceanside Place Arena.
The Generals picked up the most style points — and points on the scoreboard — in a 7-3 victory that left them alone atop the Division 2 standings in Vancouver Island Hockey League play.
Kobe Verbicky scored a hat trick and Brenden Jamieson had a goal and three assists as the bantams (5-0-1) used their team speed and a nearly flawless forecheck to stymie the bigger Eagles.
“We knew we were up against a big, strong team out there and decided to stick to the game plan,” Oceanside coach Troy Newans said. “We ran a 1-2-2 forecheck to pin them in their own zone, and it seemed to work today. They really had trouble getting out of their own zone.
If they can’t get out of their zone, they can’t score in ours.”
Oceanside Generals bantam Sean Brendeland, left, dives to try to stop a charge by Peninsula’s Aleko Sdrakas as teammate Cage Newans (16) applies pressure from behind Saturday at Oceanside Place Arena. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS
That was especially the case in the third period, when Peninsula (4-1-1) embarked on a series of penalties that allowed the Generals — already leading by four goals — to essentially camp out in the Eagles’ zone for the duration.
On their one foray beyond their blue line, the Eagles managed a breakaway shot, but Oceanside goalie Isaac Belveal turned it away without issue.
“I think we really used our speed to the advantage,” said first-year bantam Gage Newans. “We were getting shots on net; the D-men were really good today. Just a really good all-around win, the whole team.”
Cage Newans scored one goal as the Generals rolled to a 3-0 lead early in the second period. After Peninsula used a mini-run to close to 4-3 midway through the second, Verbicky and Jamieson scored back-to-back goals later in the third to make it 6-3 and put Oceanside in command.