Generals lead Chiefs 2-0 in best of seven
Jesse Todd of the Lacombe Generals attempts, without success, to slip the puck past Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs goaltender Garrett Kindred from behind the net during the first game of their Chinook Hockey League playoff series Saturday night at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.(Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The Lacombe Generals learned quickly the playoffs are different from the regular season.
While they came out of their first weekend of their best-of-seven series against the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs up 2-0, Saturday’s Game 1 saw the hometown team have to overcome a two-goal deficit to earn their 6-2 victory.
Head Coach Curtis Austring said the team wasn’t quite as focused as he would’ve liked to start the game.
“We were counting numbers and thinking we could just put in a partial effort,” he said.
“I was kind of happy in some sense where (the Chiefs) got out in front, because we had to face a little adversity. It was a good wake-up call. You can’t just show up and expect to win just because you show up.”
Fortunately, that changed during the first intermission, with the Riley Sheen-Brandon Magee-Myles Bell line chipping in on four of their six unanswered goals.
Sheen (2G, 2A) lead all players on the ice, but credited his linemates on their success.
“I grew up playing with Brandon. We played when we were real young together, and to have Myles on that line, too, as a real great shooter makes me and Mags’ job easy,” he said. “We’ve been finding each other a lot and it’s a lot of fun.”
He agreed that the team came out slower in the first period, but were able to find their game and stick to it over the final 40 minutes.
He added the team’s discipline, which had been an issue in the last few games of the regular season, was better, too.
“That’s one thing we’ve been focusing on. We can’t give any team in this league chance after chance in this league,” he said. “We’ve had a couple games where we’d get into the third leading and take some penalties and teams start coming back so we’re trying to eliminate that.”
Those improvements carried on into Sunday’s game, with the Generals leading 5-0 early in the third period, and adding another three goals to win 8-1.
The Generals will look to sweep the series this weekend. Game 3 is Friday night, with puck drop at 8 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. Game 4 will be on the road, and Game 5, if needed, will be Monday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.
Announced attendance for Saturday’s game was 300 ... Riley Sheen and Alex Macleod were the Generals’ stars this weekend... Around the league, the Stony Plain Eagles downed the Innisfail Eagles 6-3 in Game 1, while Innisfail edged their opponents 6-5 in overtime in Game 2. Their series will also resume this weekend.