From the Peninsula Panthers
Parksville, BC (ISN) – The Peninsula Panthers could not solve Joshua Alalouf, the Oceanside Generals’ Goaltender and ended up on the wrong end of a 1-0 score in their first road game of the season.
There was really only one time that was written in stone this afternoon as the Peninsula Panthers played on the road to the host Oceanside Generals; 8:59 of the first period….period.
The Panthers boarded their bus headed from Oceanside, a young group with high expectations on the day. The team was heading to Oceanside for a 2:30 pm start but perhaps somebody forgot to tell the team. Yes the bus was on time but the team did not show and when Cam McCarrick beat Panthers’ netminder Stephen Heslop at 8:59 of the 1st frame, the story on the day would be closed. Yes the teams battled back and forth for the next two plus periods however that would be the only tally on the day and a disappointed Panthers squad headed back to their bus on the wrong end of a 1-0 score.
Joshua Alalouf was wonderful in notching his first win of the season in blocking all 33 shots tossed his way while Panthers’ goalie Stephen Heslop was just as good – almost – stopping 35 of 36. But the young Panthers looked just that at times, and on this afternoon there would be no great storybook ending.
Hockey Operations boss Pete Zubersky watched the game and was as disappointed as anyone with the result. “I really like our team, we have quite a number of good players but they all seemed to be on a different page today. I thought there was a lot of individuals rather than a cohesive group and as soon as we get to a point where we absolutely play for each other, games like this will see us on top. We let this one get away.”
The Panthers are looking to add a top-4 Defenceman to the squad and have a couple irons in the fire at present. “Every team is trying to get better this time of year,” explained Zubersky. “We have room right now to add a top-4 guy on the back end and Rob Armstrong has been working on this issue. We explained to the guys on the bus on the way home that this could happen and guys have to play hard to earn minutes and they have to play hard to stay in the lineup. We want to pride ourselves in our work ethic, I thought we could have done just a bit more of that today. It’s early though, we have some work to do.”
The Panthers don’t have time to lick their wounds for very long as they travel to Saanich to face a strong Braves squad on Wednesday evening. They will return home on Friday when they play host to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings with the puck drop set for 7:30 pm.