Lacombe Generals extend win streak to four

Kyle Stroh of the Lacombe Generals advances the puck with his feet as his stick gets tied up by Caylan Walls of the Innisfail Eagles during Sunday evening Allan Cup Hockey West league action at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex in Lacombe, Alta. Dec. 16, 2018. The Generals defeated the Eagles 7-3. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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The Lacombe Generals played their own version of skeet shooting this past weekend, toppling two sets of Eagles – Stony Plain and Innisfail – over the weekend.

On Friday they had a lopsided 8-2 win over Stony Plain, but their latest was a 7-3 victory against Innisfail Sunday evening.

Generals Head Coach Sean Robertson said their past few wins, in particular their last were results of 60-minute efforts.

“We had another good full-team effort,” he said. “Top to bottom, I don’t think we had a weak link.”

The first goal of the game came on a General breakaway by Giffen Nyren, who was set up by Dylan Nowakowski as he came out of the penalty box, which would give the hometown team a 1-0 lead.

The score remained the same heading into the second period, however, changed 1:21 into the frame as Kyle Stroh found the back of the net.

The goal was followed by two quick tallies from Jesse Todd and Kyle Ross to give the Generals a 4-0 lead. With 6:41 left to go, Stroh scored on a sharp angle wrister from the left-hand side of the Eagles’ net with the man advantage. It wasn’t until the dying seconds of the period – 17.4 seconds, to be precise – that Innisfail managed to score and cut the Generals lead to just four.

The scoring didn’t end in the third, either.

Innisfail Eagle Riley Simpson chips a puck past Lacombe Generals goaltender Steven Stanford during Allan Cup Hockey West league action Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. The Generals defeated the Eagles 7-3. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

Innisfail Eagle Riley Simpson chips a puck past Lacombe Generals goaltender Steven Stanford during Allan Cup Hockey West league action Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. The Generals defeated the Eagles 7-3. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

The Eagles’ Shawn Bates managed to get in behind the Generals defence and beat them to the net. Midway through the period, the Eagles Dallas Desjarlais scored for the Eagles to bring the opposition within two. The Eagles then pulled their goaltender, hoping to complete the comeback while on a power play, however, Ross scored shorthanded into the empty net, and teammate Billy Marshall ended the game with another empty-netter to secure the 7-3 win.

Stroh, who had two goals, said it was nice to come out with the two points, especially after being shutout Innisfail 5-0 the last time they faced each other.

“It was a good game, start to finish. We had a bit of a lull there in third period but I think we regrouped and got back to playing simple, but it was nice to come out with the two points.” said Stroh.

“It was a good team effort. When you play a team game, you’re going to get your chances, and hopefully bury them and luckily I was to be able to do that tonight.”

Kyle Stroh of the Lacombe Generals battles along the boards with his Innisfail Eagles opponent during Allan Cup Hockey West league action on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex in Lacombe, Alta. The Generals defeated the Eagles 7-3. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

With two wins over the weekend, the Generals now sit atop the Allan Cup Hockey League standings. While it’s a good position to be in, by no means has the team reached where it would like to be just yet.

“Ideally, we’d like to give up no goals…In playoff hockey, if you give up three it doesn’t win you hockey games,” Robertson said. “We’re not where we need to be yet, but we’re definitely trending in the right direction….After that three-game losing streak, we reset ourselves and got back to playing stingy defensively.

“Our attitude has changed – it’s a little bit more team-oriented and we’ve had more numbers come out so we’ve had help with depth.”

Now, the plan is to just continue playing that way, and improve upon systems, special teams and getting players in consistent roles moving forward.

The Generals will now have a few weeks of rest and relaxation before returning to the ice Saturday, Jan. 12 when they’ll host the Rosetown Redwings. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.

Game notes

The Eagles edged the Lacombe Generals in shots 33-32…The Generals were 2 for 12 (26.7 per cent on the power play, while the Eagles were 1 for 7 (14.3 per cent)….A number of large penalities were given out including two and 10 to Eagle Tyler Haarstad for head contact. Eagle Shawn Bates was given a 10-minute misconduct, while General Ian Barteaux was given a 10-minute misconduct and a five-minute match penalty for spearing after Colton Hayes checked him from behind into the crossbar of the net. Eagle Joe Vandermeer also received a 10-minute misconduct….Ian Barteaux was named the home star of the game. Dallas Desjarlais was named the away star….Attendance, as per boxscore, was 350.

Lacombe General Adam Huxley collides with Innisfail Eagle Caylan Walls during Allan Cup Hockey West League action on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex in Lacombe, Alta. The Generals defeated the Eagles 7-3. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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