Varsity Whalers impressive opener

The Ballenas football team starts regular season in high fashion with a big win

Back-to-back VIJHL wins of the decisive variety have Oceanside’s Save-On-Foods Generals feeling better about their game this week.

The new-look Generals only other win of the young season was back on Sept. 9, so getting back on track with 5-2, 7-3 road wins over the Nanaimo Buccaneers and Kerry Park Islanders “was huge actually,” confirmed Gens’ head coach and GM Brent Demerais, adding “the guys are starting to see what they can do when they apply a little pressure and use their speed down low in the opposing zone.”

On Saturday in Mill Bay, Caden Infanti (Marino Sommerville, Colby Lim) opened the scoring for Oceanside 5:20 in; KP tied it 1-1 at 10:34 on the power play, and Taylor Gray (Riel Gibson, Logan Savard) fed the net at 13:49 for a 2-1 Gens lead at the first intermission.

The ‘Isles scored 1:59 into the second  to make it 2-2. and Keenan McConnell (Cam McCarrick, Gibson) marker at 11:10 made it 3-2 Oceanside which is how it stood after 40 minutes.

Lee Orpen (McCarrick,Chandler Bruykere) upped it to 4-2 Gens three minutes into the 3rd. KP cut it to 4-2 on the PP at 14:30, but the Gens nailed down the W with three goals — two from Michael Fretz in 10 seconds, and the other from Matthew Biagioni.

Oceanside outshot KP, who are still looking for their first win, by period and 34-25 on the night. The ‘Isles were 2-for-6 on the PP, the Gens 0-for-6. Home grown goalie Kiefer Giroux made 22 saves to pick up the win in net.

Fast paced generals win

IN NANAIMO last Thursday the Generals scored four unanswered goals in the third period and bagged themselves a well-earend 5-2 win over the Buccaneers.

Biagioni scored the only goal of the opening frame at 7:31 for a 1-0 Oceanside lead, and the Bucs scored the only two goals of the second.

McCarrick (Orpen, McConnell) upped it to 2-1 Gens a buck-36 into the third on the power play, and Will McNamara, Gray and Michael Fretz all fed the net in a span of just over two minutes to nail down the win.

A fast-paced game played out in front of an announced crowd of 302, all three game stars were from the Gens — Shane Dial earned first  star honors, McNamara second, and Bruykere third.

Giroux stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced to pick up the win in net — Oceanside outshot Nanaimo 13-6 in the 3rd and 25-19 overall.

It was only Nananimo’s second loss in their first five games.

The weekend wins lift Oceanside to 3-3-1 and tied with Campbell River for second place in the VIJHL’s four-team North Division.




It looks like Giroux, from Qualicum Beach , has taken the reigns as the starting goalie for Oceanside.

“I would say he’s our number one,” confirmed head coach Demerais. “He’s quick …after watching the way he played Thursday night it was pretty easy to put him in Saturday.”

Making an immediate impact in his debut with the this year’s Gens against the Bucs was 6’5” 215 pound D-Man Jesse Ursic, 19.

“He did unreal,” said Demerais. “He’s going to be good for our young defensemen.




The Generals travel to Comox Wednesday night to take on the Glacier Kings (2-3-1) and return home to ‘the Place Saturday to tangle with the upstart first year Westshore Wolves (4-3). Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.



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