In his “Rules for Staying Young,” legendary pitcher Satchel Paige wrote: “Don’t look back. Something may be gaining on you.”
In their quest to stay in first place in the North Division of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, the Comox Valley Glacier Kings don’t have to look back very far to see the Oceanside Generals gaining on them.
The Icemen got the season off to a red-hot start, but the Generals have been slowly but steadily closing the gap. Oceanside is 7-3-0 in their last 10 games while the Yetis are 4-6-0.
This past weekend repeated a familiar theme of late as Oceanside won both their games while Comox Valley split theirs. The Glacier Kings lost 4-1 to the Peninsula Panthers on Friday and beat the Saanich Braves 4-1 on Saturday. Oceanside now sits just five points back of the Glacier Kings, and the teams meet next Wednesday (Dec. 21) in a big four-pointer in Courtenay.
Friday night at the Panorama Leisure Centre in Peninsula, Rylan Ball’s third-period power-play goal was the only puck to elude Kylar Stern, who made 36 saves in picking up the win. Cameron Large made 34 saves in taking the loss.
Kyle Peterson popped in a pair of power-play tallies to pace Peninsula, who led 1-0 after one period and 3-0 after two.
Saturday night at the Comox Valley Sports Centre in Courtenay, the Glacier Kings got a two-point (1g, 1a) effort from first star Brian Rideout in their 4-1 win over Saanich, who came to town with just 13 skaters and two goalies.
Second star Jackson Garrett added a goal and two assists while Garrett Halls (1g, 1a) and Jordan Kamprath also hit the score sheet for the locals.
The Yetis outshot the Braves 41-25 with Large picking up his ninth win of the season and third star Tanner McGaw taking the loss. The Icemen led 2-0 after one and 3-1 after two.
Prior to next week’s four-point showdown with the Gens, the Glacier Kings play a home-and-away weekend series with the Campbell River Storm. The Yetis are on the road this Friday and host the Storm on Saturday, Dec. 17 in a 7:30 p.m. start at Sports Centre Arena No. 1.