Road team just keeps winning
Lacombe Generals netminder Kraymer Barnstable tries to make a save on Stony Plain Eagle Richard Kelly during Game 3 of the Chinook Hockey League provincial final on Friday night at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. The Eagles would win 7-4, but the Generals would bounce back 8-3 on Saturday in Stony Plain, tying the series 2-2. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The trend of winning on the road during the Chinook Hockey League final continued this past weekend, with the Stony Plain Eagles taking Game 3 7-4, and the Lacombe Generals tying the series in Game 4 8–3.
While both the emotion and ability to score was there for the army, Generals Head Coach Curtis Austring said their desire to win wasn’t quite to the level of their opponents, who rallied behind their downed captain on Friday.
“We had spurts of effort. At the end of the day, they just wanted it more than we did,” he said.
“Some of our guys looked like they were a half step behind out there, and when you’re a half step behind you’re chasing the game. We gave them some opportunities. They capitalized and we just lost our focus at the end.”
Stony Plain jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Colton Hayes and Chad Hohmann, before Evan Oberg responded on the power play and turned momentum in the Generals favour. By the end of the period, the hometown team was up 3-2.
In the second period, Richard Kelly of the Stony Plain Eagles tied the game at three, which would be how the two teams entered the final period.
Two quick goals within 30 seconds in the third frame by the Eagles, however, followed by a Nik Yaremchuk power play marker, created a hole the army wouldn’t be able to climb out of.
“We still believed we could come back. We just need some time to get the next one,” Austring said. “I thought we had some determination, I thought our game elevated at that stage, but it’s too little, too late.”
Eric Galbraith scored on the power play with seven minutes to go in the game and it looked like momentum would give the Generals a chance at a comeback. With just under four minutes to go, though, Generals goaltender Kraymer Barnstable misplayed the puck after a giveaway that resulted in the Eagles seventh goal.
“He generally makes good decisions, but every now and then there’s one of those,” said Austring. “We need to be in better spots, have better support. At the end of the day, that’s not the reason we lost, it’s a host of other things.”
Game 4 on Saturday in Stony Plain at the Centennial Arena was a different story, featuring a flurry of goals and a revolving door on both penalty boxes.
Curtis Billsten put the Eagles on the board first, but just over three minutes later, Myles Bell would tie things up. Late in the period, Brandon Magee would put the Generals up 2-1 on a feed from Riley Sheen.
The next goal didn’t come until halfway through the middle fram, when Jesse Todd slipped a goal past Eagles netminder Vincent Marozzi before the Eagles responded on the power play with a goal by Chad Hohmann.
The one-goal gap, however, wouldn’t last long.
Just a minute and 12 seconds later, Ian Barteaux would restore the two goal lead, and with 4:32 left, Bell would put them further ahead. Bryce Williamson responded for the Eagles on a drop pass from Miller, but once again, Bell restored the lead on the power play with his third of the night.
The final frame saw Teegan Moore score early in the period, followed by an Eagles goalie change. Travis Yonkman would settle things for the Eagles, with not another goal scored in the game until just five seconds left, when former Generals captain Sean Robertson scored with an assist from Dennis Rix.
The Generals return home on Friday, March 24 for Game 5. Puck drop is 8 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. Game 6 will be Saturday, March 25 in Stony Plain at 7:30 p.m. Game 7, if needed, will be Thursday, March 30. Puck drop will happen at 8 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.
Game 4 notes:
A total of eight 10-minute misconducts were handed out during the game, with five handed to the Eagles, and three to the Generals…The Generals were two for seven with the man advantage. Stony Plain was one for six…Officials doled out 118 minutes worth of penalties to both teams combined….Myles Bell had four points on the night including a hat trick…Travis Yonkman replaced Marozzi in the third period, playing the final 16:48. He made five saves on six shots.