Sukhraj Narwal scored one of three goals for the Lake Cowichan Kraken in a 5-3 loss to the Oceanside Generals on Sunday evening. (Gazette file)

Sukhraj Narwal scored one of three goals for the Lake Cowichan Kraken in a 5-3 loss to the Oceanside Generals on Sunday evening. (Gazette file)

Lake Cowichan Kraken fall to Generals at home

Busy schedule should put team in a ‘playoff mentality’

The Lake Cowichan Kraken’s performance against the Oceanside Generals on Sunday wasn’t a bad one, according to head coach Dan Whiteford, but the result wasn’t exactly what the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team was looking for.

The Kraken carried a 3-2 lead into the third period, but allowed three unanswered goals over the final 20 minutes and ended up on the wrong side of a 5-3 final score.

“It was a fairy decent game,” Whiteford said. “Oceanside is a good team, and we usually have good games against them. A couple mistakes caught up to us. It wasn’t a poorly played game.”

Mitchell Billings opened the scoring with a powerplay goal at 5:15 of the first. The Generals answered back just over three minutes later, but Zach Vaillancourt restored the Kraken’s lead with his first VIJHL goal with seven seconds left in the opening frame. The Generals then made it 2-2 at 1:52 of the second, but Sukhraj Narwal needed just seven seconds to put Lake Cowichan back in front. The third period was all Oceanside as the Generals scored three times while outshooting the Kraken 12-4.

Billings finished the game with a goal and an assist. Josh Robins made 37 saves over 60 minutes as the Kraken were outshot 42-20.

The Kraken did hold the Generals scoreless on the powerplay, killing off seven shorthanded situations.

“We definitely killed off a few penalties,” Whiteford acknowledged. “That’s something we work on. Unfortunately, we’ve had to use it more than I’d like to, but it’s good to know we can rely on it.”

The Kraken were scheduled to visit the Campbell River Storm last Friday, but that game was rescheduled to this Tuesday.

The team will visit the Nanaimo Buccaneers this Thursday, then return home to face the Victoria Cougars on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and the Buccaneers on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

“We’ve got a busy schedule coming up,” Whiteford said. “It helps us get in a playoff mentality, as long as we’re doing the right things.”

VIJHL