August 31st, 2021 is a historical day for the Port Alberni Bombers. As it was the first official game hosted by the team in its inaugural season. Now while there’s still some time to go before the start of the 2021-22 VIJHL season, the Bombers were hosts to the Oceanside Generals Tuesday night. While it was a memorable night for the Bombers organization, it, unfortunately, wasn’t as memorable on the score sheet. As the Bombers fell to the Generals by a final score of 5-3.
This game didn’t take long to get the scoring started. As the Generals opened up the scoring just 13 seconds into the first period from Carter Johnson. Certainly not the start the Bombers were looking for in their first game, but there was still plenty of hockey left to play.
However, the Bombers would strike back as Robbie Steel would score the Bombers’ first goal in franchise history in an exhibition game, which tied the game at 1-1 with 10:39 left in the opening frame.
And it would stay that way heading into intermission. While the Bombers weren’t able to take a lead, it was much preferred than going into the break trailing.
As the second period began, the Bombers would, once again, sacrifice another early period goal. This time to Generals’ forward Dylan McCormick just 56 seconds into the period to give the Generals a 2-1 lead.
Less than four minutes into the second, the Generals kept coming with the offence, as McCormick would get himself on the scoresheet once again with another goal to make it 3-1 for the Generals.
But the bleeding wouldn’t stop there, as the Generals would score again, this time just 19 seconds afterwards from Jacob Thomas to make it 4-1.
However, the Bombers would respond as Aidan See would score 31 seconds after the previous Generals goal to make it a 4-2 game. And the goals would stop there as the period would come to an end with a 4-2 Generals lead.
In the third period, the Generals would score the first goal of the period again as Nolan Wyatt would give the Generals a 5-2 lead less than three minutes into the final frame.
Though the Bombers wouldn’t go down without a fight. Literally and figuratively, as there were some altercations between the two teams and many roughing penalties were assessed after Generals player Miles Carson and Bombers player Carson Steel were given game misconducts hits to the head just over seven minutes into the third period.
Then, Jack McKean would score with less than five minutes left in the third to make it a 5-3 game. Unfortunately, that would end up being the final goal of the game as the Generals would come away with the victory against the Bombers in their first-ever exhibition game.
So while the Bombers didn’t come out on top for their first game. It was still great to have hockey back in Port Alberni and even more special to have fans attend the game.
The next exhibition game is against the same Generals on September 3rd at 7:00 PM in Parksville.
The Bombers will also begin their regular season as they head off to Campbell River to play against the Campbell River Storm on September 10th at 7:30 PM.