A weight seemed to be lifted as the music blared from the Moose Jaw Generals dressing room on Thursday evening. That weight would be a four game slump that saw the Generals lose two and tie two.
The Generals played a complete, high-energy game to defeat the Notre Dame Hounds 4-1 in Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League action at Mosaic Place.
“The boys have been pushing it the last couple of games. It has been a struggle and the confidence was down a little,” said Generals coach Ray Wareham. “It was a different feel around them this week and practices were good. We needed to find a way to win and we did that.”
Ben Duperreault got the Generals on the board early in the opening frame. The team had a lot of jump in the first period and controlled much of the play. After a disappointing weekend, the team seemed to answer the call.
“After Sunday, we had a little closed door meeting and we left them on their own to sort things out. A bunch of veteran guys stepped up and said some things, the rookies said their piece and I think we aired that laundry out,” explained Wareham.
Captain Rhett Gardner returned to the lineup after missing seven games and a month due to a shoulder injury. It didn’t look like him missed a step, as he dominated throughout the game.
“It felt good. The first couple of shifts were a little rusty, but I thought as the game went on, I found my legs,” he said of his return. “I wasn’t used to the game pace and getting back into the physical contact. Just getting back into the swing of things was nice.”
Gardner would score four-on-four and then add a power play marker almost four minutes later to give the Generals a 3-0 lead after two periods. Having their captain back in the lineup seemed to give the other players a bit more jump in their step and played a more physical game as well. Duperreault scored the Generals fourth goal midway through the final frame.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.