Goals came in doubles for most of the game as the Lacombe Generals finally got their first win of the 2019 Viking Projects Allan Cup.
The Generals defeated the Haut-Madawaska Panthers in their second and final game of the round robin by a score of 6-2 on day two of the tournament.
The victory was much needed, not only in the standings but for team confidence following their 4-2 loss Monday at the hands of the South East Prairie Thunder.
“I thought it was a full 60 minutes and I think we improved on last night,” said Generals forward Kyle Stroh, who had two goals on the night. “Last night we played well – it was just one of those games where you run into a hot goalie and I thought tonight we really bared down and buried our chances when we had them.
“It’s a positive for us and we’ll move forward from here.”
The Army marched out to a decent start, controlling play early on. Billy Marshall fired his first goal of the tournament on net 7:42 into the frame. Just 22 seconds later Kyle Stroh struck to give the hometown team a 2-0 lead.
For about six minutes, the goals would quiet, until Stroh accepted a cross-crease pass from Levi Nelson on the man advantage, which turned into his second goal of the frame. Another puck from Trevor Granbois would trick across the goal line and the Generals would head to the dressing room with a 4-0 lead.
The second, meanwhile, saw things settle down on the offensive front, until there was just 2:11 to play and Cody Cartier beat Panthers goaltender Adrien Lemay blocker side from just past the faceoff dot. Another goal would come with just 40.4 seconds left – only this time it would be from the Panthers’ Lachlan MacIntosh.
Midway through the third, Matt Brown would get his first of the tournament by chipping the puck overtop a sprawling Lemay to extend the lead. While Justin Bowers would get one back for the Panthers three and a half minute later.
Stroh said the crowd helped the Generals continue pressing for the rest of the game.
“Crowds always give you that little push so it definitely helps,” he said. “We know what we’ve got to do – just capitalize on our chances and the rest will take care of itself.”
The Generals will now have a night off to get some rest and do a little more team bonding, before a possible match up against the Innisfail Eagles on Thursday in the quarter-finals. However, Stroh dismissed the idea their opponent would change anything.
“From now on I don’t think it really matters who our opponent is,” he said. “We’ve just got to worry about what we can do and we can control…We’ve just got to be prepared and play our game and win our battles. Play simple, play hard and let the chips fall where they may.”
Earlier in the day, the Innisfail Eagles and the reigning Allan Cup champions, the Stoney Creek Generals faced off, with Stoney Creek coming out on top 4-1.
On Wednesday, the final round robin games will be held with Stoney Creek facing the Rosetown Redwings at 4 p.m. and Haut-Madawaska taking on South East at 8 p.m.
Quarterfinals begin Thursday, April 11, and semifinals will be played on Friday with game times at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. both days. The final, which will be broadcast by TSN, will be held Saturday at 6 p.m.
For the full schedule, visit www.allancup.ca.