Generals capture ACHW title
Ian Barteaux of the Lacombe Generals steals the puck from Todd Fiddler of the Stony Plain Eagles during the Allan Cup Hockey West league semifinal on Friday. The Generals won the game 7-1, and followed that up with a 5-3 victory over Rosetown for the league championship on Saturday. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The Rosetown Redwings won the regular season battle, but it was the Lacombe Generals who won the war for the Allan Cup Hockey West league title.
The Generals downed the Redwings 5-3 Saturday to earn the ACHW championship after ousting the Stony Plain Eagles 7-1 in a semifinal match Friday at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.
While the hometown team looked like the underdog heading into the final, having only won two games against the Redwings this season, there was no question about their desire to upset their league leading opponents. “Personally, I really want it,” said Generals forward Alex Macleod. “Usually it’s been through a seven game series so this is a bit different, but I still want that trophy – we still want it.”
In the semifinal, things got off to a slow start despite Jesse Todd and Teegan Moore scoring a goal apiece in the first and second period, respectively. Two goals – one from Billy Marshall and the Todd’s second of the night – to start the third, tipped momentum firmly in the Generals favour.
Macleod scored the next goal before the Eagle’s Todd Fiddler slipped one past goaltender Steven Stanford. Ian Barteaux would respond, and Devin Gannon added a seventh goal on the power play with just 42 seconds left.
“I think early on it was pretty tight. It could’ve gone with either way...Until we got that third or fourth goal it was anyone’s game,” said Macleod. “We got off to a little slower start than we wanted to. That’s a good learning too going into the rest of playoffs.
“We need to come out harder and more focused early on in the game.”
Saturday’s championship game was a little better, with Kyle Bailey scoring two quick goals at the end of the first to give the Generals a 2-0 lead. In the second period, Redwing Torrie Dyck evened the game at two with a power play goal and one at even strength, but Bailey put the Generals in front once more with a power play goal of his own.
Just over a minute later, Cameron Blair tied the game again, but with two seconds left in the second, Jesse Todd scored what would eventually be the game winner.
Both teams shut the door on goals in the third, with only Dylen Mckinlay scoring an empty netter with 1:29 left to secure the ACHW title.
Although the Generals came out on top, they gave credit to their opponents, who they’ll likely meet again in the Allan Cup tournament in April.
“They’re a good all-around team. They’ve got lots of good hockey players,” said Macleod. “They’re well coached and Rosetown’s a good hockey town. It ’s always a good game when we play them.”
In the meantime, their attention is now turned to facing the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs in provincial semifinals. The best-of-seven series will begin on the road Sunday, Feb. 18.
The series schedule is as follows:
• Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. at the JRC Arena
• Monday, Feb. 19 at 2:30 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex
• Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex
• Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2:15 p.m. at the JRC Arena
• Thursday, March 1 at 8 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex*
• Saturday, March 3 at 8:15 p.m. at the JRC Arena
• Sunday, March 4 at 5 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex*
The Generals were two for eight on the power play. The Redwings were one for 10.... Shots on goal were 34-39 in favour of the Redwings... Kyle Bailey was awarded star of the game for the Generals. Torrie Dyck earned the star for the Rosetown Redwings.