The playoffs may be over but it’s still game on for Oceanside’s Peewee Rep Generals, who turned in a great effort on home ice Saturday to trump the Powell River Kings, 4-2.
Oceanside captain Ausitn Hykaway opened the scoring early in the first period and Christian Stokes upped it to 2-zip off a nifty wraparound shortly after. The Kings cut it to 2-1, then tied it up on a penalty shot late in the period.
A fast, physical game between two determined, young teams, the two sides duelled to a scoreless second period. Zack Williams scored what would prove to be the winner at 9:58 when he steamed in all alone on a breakaway, deeked the goalie and backhanded it into a wide open cage. Austin added the insurance marker with just over a minute left.
The local squad of 11-to-13-year-olds had a good start to the season, winning their opening tournament, “then we went into a bit of a slump in November and December and started playing better in January,” co-coach Jim Hykaway surmised Sunday night, pointing out the Peewee Gens finished the regular season near the bottom in the seven-team league standings.
They knocked off Port Alberni and Powell River in the post season to finish second in the North Island playdowns behind Campbell River, before dropping their crossover game against first from South Island, Juan de Fuca Grizzlies two weeks ago. Since then the squad has been staying busy in preparation for their year-end tournament in Richmond March 24-28.
“I thought it was a good game,” coach H said of Sunday’s contest. “We were playing really well at the start; I really liked our passing.”
“We got into penalty trouble in the second, but we came back strong in the third.”
If there was a game star award it would have gone to Oceanside goalie Isaac Stevens, who was a vision of calm between the pipes, especially during Powell River’s numerous power plays.
“He was very good today,” agreed Hykaway, “he was awesome all year long.”
Also earning props for their play were hard-charging D-girl Chloe Cook (one of two females on the team) and fellow blueliner Devin Svensen along with feisty forward Teddy Vukovic was a whirling dervish.
“Great group of kids — they’ve improved a lot this season,” coach H surmised when asked about the team, adding, “they’re a bit unique in that they don’t care a lot about the score, they just have a lot of fun together.”