Sunday was the last time the Moose Jaw Generals are going to get a free pass.
The Generals took care of business with a comfortable 5-1 win over the Beardy’s Blackhawks. Now it’s time to get serious.
The Generals will fight it out for third place in the Sask. Midget AAA Hockey League over their final three regular season games as they gear up for the playoffs.
“We have three tough games heading into the playoffs and that’s a good thing,” said Wareham whose team will host the Saskatoon Contacts Thursday and then finish with a home-and-home against Regina.
The Generals are 25-12-3-1 on the season and are tied with Regina for third.
“We’ve got to be playing some good hockey heading into the playoffs,” said Wareham. “Those two teams are really good. It’s going to be a good challenge. You want to win every game and get that through to the guys, but they’re already thinking March 1 (and the start of the playoffs).
“If we’re not ready to go against those teams it’s going to be ugly.”
Against a Blackhawks team that has struggled all season, the Generals came out and did what they needed to early, but rarely played their best hockey. They out-shot Beardy’s 21-2 after a period and had a 2-0 lead and cruised from there.
“We’ll take the two points,” said Wareham. “They’re tough games to play in. You try to make sure we worry about ourselves and be as structured as we can be. You get out there and get a little freedom and maybe do things you shouldn’t in a tighter game. We let them be and tried to get through it without any injuries.
“Offensively you get rolling a little bit and then you get a little selfish. You have three guys behind the goal line and give up some odd-man rushes. They didn’t capitalize on them, but if you’re playing one of the upper teams they probably bury them.”
The Blackhawks have only won twice this season and have lost 18 games in a row.
Cohen Yano scored twice in the first period to give the Generals the lead. Ben Duperreault scored twice and Donovan Neuls also tallied for the Generals. Rykr Cole and Dakota Boutin each had two assists.
Beardy’s goalie Daniel Jahnke made 44 saves in the loss.