The Oceanside Generals were well rested after they swept their best-of-seven Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series against the Port Alberni Bombers.
But it didn’t help them in Game 1 of their North Island Division final against the Campbell River Storm as they ended up losing 2-0 at the Oceanside Place on Wednesday night (March 15). It ended their 27-game winning streak and also was the first time they got shut out this season.
The Generals were sluggish on both ends of the ice and were far from being fresh. The Storm, on the other hand, despite having survived a tough playoff series against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings that went the distance, played with a lot more hunger and drive.
Generals forward Daniel Paziuk said it was a disappointing loss but they know their performance was below their usual form.
“We did not bring our A game tonight,” said Paziuk. “Nine days off doesn’t help. I think we have to compete harder in practice and work harder. Credit to them, they came out hard. They just had a big Game 7 win in their last series and they came out hard and played us hard.”
The match was scoreless for two periods. In the third, the Generals that had two lapses on defence that resulted in two successive goals by the Storm, netted by Vin Jackson and Kye Benoches. They protected their 2-0 lead well under some intense pressure by the Generals, who were not able to break the solid goaltending of Nick Peters, who earned the shutout win, turning away 34 shots.
“Offensively we weren’t clicking and defensively we got outshot,” said Paziuk. “But throughout the game, we were still solid except for the two defensive lapses that gave them the two goals and the win.”
Game 2 will be played on Friday, March 17 at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena with the puck drop at 7:30 p.m. Paziuk said they have to be better.
“The big thing is to just compete and preparation,” said Paziuk. “We should have a harder start than we did in this game.”