Generals, Eagles tied in provincial final
Doug Jessey of the Lacombe Generals looks to make a pass while Ryan Smyth of the Stony Plain Eagles tries to force a turnover during Game 1 Chinook Hockey League postseason action Saturday at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. The Generals would fall 6-4 in Game 1, but would rebound 4-1 in Game 2. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
Little love was lost between the Lacombe Generals and Stony Plain Eagles as they opened the Chinook Hockey League final series on Saturday.
In what was a physical affair against league rivals, the Generals were handed their first loss of the postseason, falling 6-4 in front of a respectable ‘army’ crowd of 1,000.
Although the Generals jumped ahead 1-0 early, they came up short when it came to finishing plays.
Generals Head Coach Curtis Austring attributed part of the loss to the team’s long, 20-day hiatus after sweeping the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs in round one.
“You could see some rust a little bit as far as timing went,” he said.
“We’re disappointed with the result, for sure, but I think everyone’s engaged in the series now. It didn’t take long to get some animosity going.”
Hits were frequent throughout the game, as were goals.
Eric Schneider opened the scoring in the first period, and in the second, Generals Captain Don Morrison put the hometown team ahead 2-0.
However, Riley Miller would bring the Eagles within one. Following an incident behind the net, Teegan Moore was handed 14 minutes worth of penalties, including a 10 minute misconduct, two minutes for roughing and another two for unsportsmanlike conduct.
During the ensuing power play, Spencer Mcavoy would add the tying marker at 5:17.
Eric Galbraith would score a go-ahead goal with just a minute left to go in the period, but it would be the Generals last lead of the game.
Early in the third, Ryan Smyth scored to once again tie things up, then scored again to put the Eagles ahead, before he left the game after a hit by Kyle Sheen.
Miller would score again, as would Yaremchuk, while Ryan Kinasewich would add just one more goal for the Generals in the final frame.
Emotion and discipline, too, played a factor in the loss.
“I thought the emotional level was up right away. We just have to rein it in and harness it and put it to good use,” said Austring. “When we’re focused, we’re putting the effort in and we’re a good team.”
“We put the effort in, but we’ve got to be a little more disciplined and stay out of the box. It disrupts the flow of the game too much for our team, but that’s Game 1. That’s why it’s a series and not just one game,” he said. “We’ve got a good group so I think we’ll bounce back.”
Bounce back they did.
Game 2 saw the Generals dominate the Eagles 4-1 in Stony Plain at the Centennial Arena.
Just over five minutes into the game, Evan Oberg scored with the man advantage, assisted by Magee and Brennan Evans.
In period two, Curtis Billsten scored for the Eagles to tie the game 1-1, but it wouldn’t last for long.
Less than two minutes later, Ian Barteaux regained the lead. The final two goals would come from Magee.
The Generals and Eagles will face off for Game 3 Friday, March 17 at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. Puck drop is at 8 p.m.