The Moose Jaw Generals seem to have refocused on their system and that rekindled fire is paying off, especially against tougher opponents.
In a home-and-home series with the Regina Pat Canadians over the weekend, the Generals swept them with a 2-0 shutout win on Sunday afternoon to go along with a 4-1 win on Saturday.
“We really started to find our game again these last couple of games. It was nice to see,” said Generals head coach Ray Wareham. “Everyone is really buying into what we are trying to get across. I thought this weekend was probably our best as far as system play goes and playing within a structure.”
Things have been rough for the Generals since the middle of November when the team couldn’t find a way to get out a slump.
That all changed after a long week of practice and preaching from the coaching staff of Wareham and Jeremy Ebbett. After a 4-1 win over the Notre Dame Hounds on Thursday, the Generals are a much stronger and consistent team.
“I thought we took some steps forward in that Hounds game to where we were the weekend before,” explained Wareham. “In practice, we tried to stress to them that we have to play within a structure and if we do that, we can be very successful.”
The Pat C’s were sitting in first place prior to this weekend series and were a strong opponent that doesn’t give up much ice or chances. However, with all players clicking for the Generals, they were able to outscore them 6-1 in those two games.
“All four lines were real good, as they were Saturday,” he said. “I think everyone is buying in and we were able to roll with four lines.”
Part of the reason for the recent success, as Wareham stated was buying into their system they had earlier in the season. Not only that, but their captain Rhett Gardner returned to the lineup after missing a month due to a shoulder injury and was an instant confidence booster for the squad.
“I thought out veteran guys and our leaders really led the way and the other guys just followed suit,” said Wareham. “I think they are starting to buy in and they found that they had some success on Saturday and we are creating turnovers and creating opportunities off that.”
Rykr Cole got the Generals on the board in the second period and then Ben Verrall scored at 4:43 to pad the lead. Ben Duperreault and Donovan Neuls were helpers on both goals.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.