Generals look for subtle changes in tournament
The Moose Jaw Generals are looking for a spark.
Moose Jaw Generals
They are hoping that will come when they travel to Grand Forks, N.D. this weekend to compete in the Midget AAA Hockey Academy Showcase.
After losing two straight games in league play last weekend and going just 1-for-17 on the power play in that span, the Generals will be looking to use this time to bond as a team and try new line combinations.
“We will experiment a bit. The goalies will just rotate and then as far as line combinations and rotations, this gives us an opportunity to switch things up,” stated Generals head coach Ray Wareham. “Our power play is a concern, so we will try some different things to see if we can get a spark somewhere and create some offence. Hopefully we can bring that back into the regular season play when we get back into town.”
This is the third time the squad is competing in this tournament. Each year, they enjoy themselves and the players get to see different teams from Canada and the United States.
On Thursday evening, the Generals will play the Winnipeg Thrashers. On Friday afternoon, they will play the Kenora Thistles. They will face off against the Winnipeg Wild on Saturday and will play their final round robin game against San Jose on Sunday morning.
“The good thing is those Winnipeg teams are usually at the top of the Manitoba league. So we get to measure ourselves against them. Red Deer has won back-to-back national champions and they go all the time too. It gives a real good measuring stick to where we stand,” stated Wareham. “It is good hockey, there are some quality teams that go down there. It is a rude awakening with the American teams always a year older because their age classifications are different. It is challenge for our guys to go there and playing really good teams and guys that can be three years older. It is a good learning experience.”
Not only is the competition good, but scouts will be around the Ralph Engelstad Arena watching the teams and players, giving some of them some extra publicity.
“It provides them with the different exposure as far as the NCAA route goes,” explained Wareham. “The Western Hockey League isn’t for everybody and there are guys that want to go in different routes, it allows those guys to showcase themselves a bit too.”
Also getting away from league play will give the Generals the opportunity to relax, try some new things and bring the focus back to basics in their game style.
“The boys don’t have the pressure of the two points. They get all worked up, especially this year with us hosting the Telus Cup. There is a little more a target on our backs. We are able to go there and just play some hockey and have some fun with it,” stated Wareham. “Especially for the young guys, it allows them to have more freedom to relax and just go play. We want to careful and still be responsible, but still have that freedom. I think it is good that they can just go play, but still able to experiment and try guys in different spots.”
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