A two-minute lapse was the difference maker as the Rosetown Redwings edged the Lacombe Generals Saturday night.
In the Generals first home game in three weeks, they coughed up three second-period goals – and two points – in a 5-4 loss to the Redwings. Otherwise a tight game between last year’s Allan Cup Hockey West league championship contenders, Generals Head Coach Sean Robertson affirmed it was that lapse that cost them the game.
“We didn’t do enough things right in the second period to get a win,” he said. “We took our foot off the gas – it’s not a light switch, you can’t just turn it off and turn it back on. It takes awhile. That’s one thing we have to learn.”
The Generals struck first on a classic Ian Barteaux shot from the blue line eight minutes into the first period. Not too long after, however, Barteaux was sent to the box for hooking, followed by a Keenan Desmet cross check that put the team down 5-on-3.
While the Generals killed off the penalty, seconds after it expired, Redwing Jonathan Redlick tied the game.
The 1-1 score would remain until 8:14 of the second when Jared Jagow found the back of the net on the power play. Just 42 seconds later, Tom Fiddler added another even-strength goal, and another 42 seconds after that, Jagow got his second of the game to give the Redwings a 4-1 lead.
Desmet managed to respond with a power play goal a couple minutes after, but the Generals would head to the dressing room down 4-2.
Part of the issue was discipline, with constant penalties necessitating a lot of ice time for Generals penalty killers.
“We were trying to play four lines…it’s hard to keep a flow when you have as many penalties as we had tonight,” Robertson said. “It took us awhile to get in a groove and get a flow going and once we did have it we were fine. But then the (official’s) arm goes up and you have to start over.”
In the third, it looked like the Generals would do just that and mount a comeback. Former Redwing Kyle Stroh scored his first two goals as a General against his previous team, but it wouldn’t be enough completely erase the team’s mid-second period breakdown.
The next goal, scored by Redwing Garrett Bembridge on the man advantage, wasn’t forgiving, and the Redwings left Lacombe with a 5-4 win.
Still, Robertson said it was good to see Stroh finally get his offence going.
“We’ve been patiently waiting for him to get comfortable. You could see it was there,” he said. “Tonight he could’ve had five…We’re happy he’s contributing now and I’m sure if you asked him he’d be quite pleased – not pleased we lost, but pleased he’s helping his team.”
The loss saw the Generals lose their three-point lead in the standings over Rosetown – now sitting just one point ahead with the Redwings having a game in hand. The team currently sits one point back of the Stony Plain Eagles for first in the league.
The Generals will now play an extended stretch of road games, starting in Stony Plain Saturday, Nov. 24, followed by a Dec. 1 game against Innisfail and two back-to-back games against Rosetown Dec. 8-9. They’ll return home Dec. 14 to host the Stony Plain Eagles. Their last game before the Christmas break will also be at home, Dec. 16 against the Innisfail Eagles.