Generals fall twice in ACHW Showcase
Lacombe Generals goaltender Steven Stanford looks behind him as his Rosetown Redwings opponent tries to chip a rebound past him into the net during the Allan Cup Hockey West Showcase tournament at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. The Generals fell 4-3 to the visiting Redwings, who are also the 2018 Allan Cup hosts. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The Lacombe Generals got their first taste of what may be in store for them this season during the inaugural Allan Cup Hockey West (ACHW) Showcase this past weekend at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.
On Friday night, the team rallied back from a 4-1 deficit against the Red Deer College Kings in the third period on goals from Craig Dalrymple, Jesse Todd and Myles Bell before the Kings scored with just three seconds left to take a 5-4 win.
On Saturday they had their first crack at an ACHW league team in the 2018 Allan Cup hosting Rosetown Redwings, but the result was similar, falling 4-3.
“I thought it was a really good test for us,” said Generals Head Coach Sean Robertson. “Our first period was really good. We had a little bit of a lull and in the second ran into some penalty trouble and felt we just didn’t execute for whatever reason in the third period.”
In the first the Generals opened fire on their opponents, with Teegan Moore scoring early on. With 10:55 left in the frame, Nathan Deck extended the lead to 2-0 before Redwing and former General Torrie Dyck responded to make the game 2-1. The period ended with shots 15-6 in favour of the hometown team.
Two five-on-three penalty kills in the second, however, shifted momentum, and not in the direction the Generals wanted.
Kyle Stroh and Dyck both added tallies on the power play for the Redwings to make it 3-2 heading into the third.
Minutes into the opening frame, the Redwings struck again, and although Generals forward Daulton Siwak scored halfway through the period, it wasn’t enough to earn the Generals a victory.
“We were a little discombobulated,” said Robertson. “When we are breaking down in our own zone, it’s ending up in our own net. We got some things we need to clean up there.”
Defensive coverage and breaking out of their own end are things the team struggled with throughout the weekend, coughing up pucks to their opponents and is something Robertson said they’ll work on and stress moving forward to work towards competing with the Redwings and other league teams throughout the regular season.
While it’s likely pieces will be added to shore up the team, for now, they’re hoping to work towards icing a consistent lineup.
“September and October are always tough for senior hockey in terms of attendance...Hopefully we start getting into the swing of things where we start getting more bodies on a more regular basis,” he said.
The Generals now have a break before the regular season begins on Oct. 14. Their first game will be on the road against the same Stony Plain Eagles they defeated in last year’s Chinook Hockey League finals en route to the Allan Cup.
They’ll play in Innisfail on Oct. 15 and Fort Saskatchewan on Oct. 21 before hosting their home opener Oct. 28 against the Rosetown Redwings at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.
The tournament was held in conjunction with the grand opening festivities of the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex...the preseason tournament is one normally held in Innisfail....former Red Deer Rebel Colton Bobyk played for the Generals on Friday, but is not expected to be a regular in the lineup.