Sports Hockey

Generals wrap 2017 with two more wins

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

Ian Barteaux celebrates a Generals goal during Saturday night Allan Cup Hockey West league action at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. The Generals defeated the Eagles 4-2. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)

Ian Barteaux celebrates a Generals goal during Saturday night Allan Cup Hockey West league action at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. The Generals defeated the Eagles 4-2. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)

The Lacombe Generals secured a 4-2 victory over their Stony Plain Eagles rivals Saturday night.

While it wasn’t their prettiest win of the season, the Generals still added another two points to the win column in their last home game of the year at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.

“I felt like we did the job we had to do,” said Head Coach Sean Robertson. “We weren’t awesome by any means, but we did enough to get the win on home ice.”

Alex Macleod opened the scoring for the Generals on a pass from Brett Robertson with 1:29 left in the first period.

The second period started on a bit of a rough note for the hometown team as a poor giveaway in the neutral zone sent the Eagle’s Cody Rainaldi on a breakaway where he made no mistake to tie the game at one.

Billy Marshall responded two minutes later, followed by a Doug Jessey goal which would eventually become the game winner. Jesse Todd added another for insurance on the power play.

As has become routine for the Generals over the past month, however, they let up in the latter part of the game. A full eight minutes passed before they were able to register a shot on net in the third period.

Robertson says part of that stemmed from him telling the defence not to jump up and join the rush and instead focus on playing well in their own end.

“It doesn’t matter if we get 60 shots and lose a hockey game. We have to keep the puck out of our net,” he said.

“You can’t give up four or five goals a game and expect to win hockey games, so we’re trying to nip that and push towards the way we have to play in March and April.”

The past few games have been better – allowing just one goal in a 9-1 win over the Innisfail Eagles last Wednesday, two Saturday night and three on Sunday, but it will still be a big focus moving forward.

Overall, Robertson says they have a ways to go to be ready for playoff hockey.

“It’s a work in progress. I don’t think we’re playing the best hockey we can play,” he said.

“We’ve definitely taken some steps since the start of the year as we get more consistent turnout with our guys. We have some work to do and we want to keep the puck out of our net quite a bit more than what we’ve been doing...I do think we are trending in the right way.”

The Generals will have just five practices between now and the start of playoffs which Robertson says will be key in honing in on what makes them successful, and what doesn’t. He added, however, that he hasn’t questioned the team’s effort at all this year.

They currently sit second in the league with 22 points and a 10-2-2 record. The Rosetown Redwings lead the league with 28 points and a 13-1-2 record.

The Generals last game of the calendar year was on the road Sunday, where they won 6-3 over the Innisfail Eagles.

They’ll return to league action on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 to face Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs at the Jubilee Recreation Centre in the first of four straight road games. They will return home Jan. 19, 2018 to face the Stony Plain Eagles once more. Puck drop is 8 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.

Notes:

Shots on goal were 48-27 in favour of the Generals...Neither team made much headway with the man advantage. The Eagles were one for 13 on the power play (7.7 per cent), while the Generals were one for nine (11.1 per cent)...Jesse Todd was named home star of the game, while Davis Jones was given the away star.

-abarrett@postmedia.com 



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