Instead of being in full control of their Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League quarter-final match up, the Moose Jaw Generals head back home with a tied series.
The Saskatoon Blazers won Game 2 on Sunday evening with a 3-2 victory. The Generals stayed the evening in Saskatoon as well due to the weather.
“It was a tough one…unfortunately, we lost. We go back home tied up at one,” said Generals head coach Ray Wareham. “They tried, but the puck was just like a grenade. There was a lot of turnovers and couldn’t get anything going. It was unfortunate that we made too many mistakes.”
There was no scoring in the first period, but the Blazers got on the board early in the second period. Cohen Yano and Brayden Delorme scored back-to-back goals in the middle frame, but it wasn’t enough. Lane Pederson sealed the Blazers’ win with 2:35 remaining in the game.
“We were going one way and they come back the other way and they get a lucky bounce and it goes in for the win,” said Wareham. “We hung around long enough. Probably more than we shouldn’t have. We gave ourselves a chance to win, but they got a break at the end and capitalized on it.”
The series will now come back to Mosaic Place on Tuesday evening (7 p.m.), but the Generals are hoping to fix some big issues by game time.
“We are going to have to clean things up quickly in the next day because Tuesday night is obviously a big game now,’ he said. “The big thing is trying to get across to the guys is that we haven’t played our best hockey yet. We’ve played okay hockey, just not the kind of hockey we are capable of playing. If we do that, I like our chances.”
Managing the puck has been the biggest issue for this team in the playoffs so far, something that didn’t seem to plague them in the regular season.
“We are having a real hard time handling the puck, making passes and it is affecting how we play our game. It is surprising offensively because we’ve always been good with the puck,” said Wareham. “There might be some guys that are just trying to do too much at times, but they are young and we are trying to figure out and be ready for Tuesday.”
The Generals could get some bodies back by Tuesday, as captain Rhett Gardner could return from injury and Rykr Cole from the flu.
“Rhett is a game-time decision. He is getting better every day. Cole wasn’t in the lineup again with the flu. We are hoping he will be back in for Tuesday night,” said Wareham.
Ryland Pashovitz started his second game in a row and made 26 saves on 29 shots. The coaching staff decided before the playoffs it was a win and stay in system. Wareham and the Generals will turn to Grant Naherniak for Game 3.
“Pashovitz played well. Ryland was good…it definitely wasn’t his fault,” he said. “We feel like we’ve got to very capable guys and we want to give Naherniak a shot now and hopefully he will get a win for us on Tuesday.”