If the Moose Jaw Generals are going to have a long playoff run, they are going to need to play a certain style.
They can look back at Thursday’s 1-0 win over the Saskatoon Contacts if they need a refresher when the post-season begins.
The Generals put in a great playoff-style performance as they played strong team defence, won the special teams battle, got strong goaltending from Ryland Pashovitz and took advantage of a break when they got one.
“Overall I was very pleased tonight,” said Generals head coach Ray Wareham. “Down the stretch we’re going to play these types of games because both teams know that if you give the other one an opportunity, you’re going to be chasing.”
The win moves the Generals ahead of the Contacts and into sole possession of second place in the Sask. Midget AAA Hockey League with a 21-9-3-0.
The Generals will host the Prince Albert Mintos Sunday (1:30 p.m., Mosaic Place). The Mintos still hold a comfortable seven-point lead in the race for first place in the SMAAAHL.
The Generals scored on the power play late in the first period. A bouncing puck eluded a Contacts defenceman and Generals speedster Ben Duperreault was able to coral the puck and break in to beat Rylan Parenteau’s poke-check attempt and open the scoring.
Duperreault’s 20th of the season was the only goal the Generals would need — though it was far from easy to blank the second-best offence in the league.
“When you play these top echelon teams like the Contacts, if you let them free, they’re going to burn you. I thought our guys did a fantastic job and when we did break down Ryland was there,” said Wareham “We blocked a ton of shots. I’ve been preaching it for a long time and the guys really bought in tonight.”
Drew Fellner played his third game since missing a month with a shoulder injury and fellow defenceman Brett Bohlken played through a thigh injury.
With Ben Verrall out for the season, affiliate Michael Korol also filled in on defence.
“We knew we had to tighten it up,” said Wareham. “We had Fellner coming back off of that shoulder injury and Korol back on D and when they were out there they did a good job. Shane Collins, who was our ‘soldier of the game’, was just a horse out there for us. I thought everybody was good, but if you’re picking guys out I thought (Collins) was fantastic. It was probably his best game of the year.”
The Generals killed off six Contacts power plays and Pashovitz stood tall making 22 saves.
Parenteau made some strong saves for the Contacts to hold his team in the game.