The tests have been difficult, but the Moose Jaw Generals are finding ways to hold their own.
The Generals faced the very talented Pirati Chomutov team from the Czech Republic on Saturday afternoon in round robin action at the Mac’s AAA Midget International Hockey Tournament in Calgary.
With late game heroics from Trey Tendler, the Generals earned a 4-4 tie with Pirati.
“I am real proud of our guys,” said Generals head coach Ray Wareham. “Real happy with the effort.”
The Czech team got on the board in the first period and the Generals seemed to sit back a little trying to figure out how to play the speedy squad.
“I thought in the first period, we were a little intimidated. They are a very skilled team and we kind of sat back on our heels a little too much,” said Wareham. “After that, I thought we were worked our butts off and created some chances.”
Pirati scored on the power play to take a 2-0 lead in the second period. They scored again 1:32 later to open the lead. Ben Verrall got the Generals on the board and cut the lead to two.
“I thought we started off a little slow, but no one has gotten anything off the Czech team yet and we were able to come back and get a tie from them,” he explained.
Donovan Neuls scored early in the third period on the man advantage to spark the come back for the Generals. Affiliated player Riley Cannon added the Generals third goal of the game to tie it up.
Pirati scored late on a power play to retake the lead, but with just five seconds remaining, Tendler pounced on a loose puck to earn a point.
“Our guys stayed with it and we got a chance. We were able to head out on the rush and pull Ryland (Pashovitz) and Trey jumped off the bench and went out there and found a loose puck and buried it,” said Wareham. “It was pretty interesting to score with five seconds left to tie it up. The boys were pretty excited and rightfully so.”
The Generals knew coming into the game against the Czechs that it would be difficult and that they would have to keep things simple if they wanted to come out with at least a point.
“This game wasn’t about style points…they like to stretch the ice and we just had to execute,” he explained. “We had to lay back and make sure that they couldn’t stretch it on us, so we waited for our chances to create turnovers.”
The team will wrap up their round robin play against the Calgary Royals on Sunday morning. If they win that game, there may be a chance they get a wild card position for the playoffs.
For more information and a tournament wrap, check an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.