VIJHL Game Preview: Cougars vs Generals


October 1, 2013, Victoria, BC – The Victoria Cougars (8-0-0-0) host the Oceanside Generals (1-7-1-1) this Thursday. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m. This is the first of four meetings between the two clubs.

Michael Fretz will be facing his former team for the first time since being dealt to Victoria during the offseason.  The Generals, who received Kelyn Opel in return, have since traded the six-foot-one, 160-pound forward to the North Peace Navigators of the North West Junior League in exchange for cash and the playing rights to Jordan Clark.

In six games with Oceanside, Opel collected five goals and three assists for eight points.

Fretz has four goals and seven assists for 11 points in eight games for the Cougars.

Victoria is scorching hot and looks to remain that way.  They are undefeated on the season and have won their last 20 regular season games dating all the way back to January 10, 2013.

Meanwhile, the Generals are off to a slow start to the season.  They have only one win in ten tries and are scoring at a pace of 2.8 goals per game – a league low.

Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops remained undefeated following its 2-0 win over the Campbell River Storm last Friday.

Ryan Carson scored both goals; the first at even strength and the second on a power play.  Getting the start in net was Connor Beauchamp who made 27 saves for his second shutout of the season.

The former Castlegar Rebels goalie recorded his first goose egg on September 8 against the Westshore Wolves.

Mark Walton had his seven game point streak snapped on Friday.

It has been a tumultuous week for Oceanside.  Brent Demerais was relieved of his head coaching duties immediately following the Generals 5-1 loss to the Kerry Park Islanders last Saturday.

Demerais, who succeeded Dave Johnson, compiled a 21-32-1-3 record with Oceanside.

Assistant coach Rob Gaudreault was named interim coach.

It did not go as planned for Gaudreault as his Generals dropped a 2-1 decision to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings last Sunday.

Drew Dancy scored the lone goal for Oceanside who got outshot 50-22. 

Leading the way offensively for the Generals is Travis Flug.  The Parksville native has twelve points on the season but ten of those points have come in his first five games of the season.

Oceanside has been busy, signing nineteen-year-old defenseman Kade Pilton and nineteen-year-old forward Carl Provencher.  Both players made their debut against Kerry Park.

Pilton, who brings a physical presence and a wealth of experience to the Generals blue line, played 43 games for the Victoria Royals (WHL), 32 games for the Fernie Ghostriders (KIJHL), 27 games for the Regina Pats (WHL), 12 games for the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL), and two games for the now-defunct Chilliwack Bruins (WHL).

Meanwhile, Provencher is a product of Ulysse Preparatory School in Quebec.

STANDINGS:  Victoria – 1st place, 16 points, South Island Division.  Oceanside – 4th place, 4 points, North Island Division

TEAM LEADERS:  Victoria – Mark Walton, 8 goals; Graham Zagrodney, 10 assists; Mark Walton, Graham Zagrodney, 12 points; Jake Daughtry, 30 penalty minutes.  Oceanside – Travis Flug, 4 goals; Travis Flug, 8 assists; Travis Flug, 12 points; Ethan Larson, 52 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS:  Victoria – Connor Beauchamp (1.79 goals against average, .925 save percentage); Nathan Hargrave (3.59 goals against average, .839 save percentage).  Oceanside – Liam Giroux (3.91 goals against average, .918 save percentage); Alex Olson (7.21 goals against average, .831 save percentage)

POWER PLAY:  Victoria – 2nd place, 16-for-60, 26.6 percent.  Oceanside – 9th place, 3-for-54, 5.5 percent

PENALTY KILL:  Victoria – 2nd place, 41-for-45, 91.1 percent.  Oceanside – 7th place, 50-for-61, 81.9 percent

SEASON SERIES:  First meeting


November 16, 2013.  Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals

January 16, 2014.  Oceanside Generals @ Victoria Cougars

February 1, 2014.  Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals

HOME/AWAY RECORDS:  Victoria – Home, 5-0-0-0.  Oceanside – Away, 0-4-0-1

STREAKS:  Victoria, W8.  Oceanside, L3

LAST TEN:  Victoria, 8-0-0-0.  Oceanside, 1-7-1-1

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.