Team finishes sixth at tournament
There was some good, bad and ugly from the Moose Jaw Generals over the weekend.
Moose Jaw Generals
The good — they were perfect on the penalty kill, going 12-for-12 over their four games.
The bad — they finished sixth out of nine teams with a 2-2 record.
The ugly — the team went 0-for-19 on the power play, something that they were hoping this tournament would spark and they still struggled scoring goals.
“It wasn’t too bad. The losses were frustrating in that we beat ourselves, but overall, we played hard and again couldn’t really score. We had chances, but couldn’t score,” said Ray Wareham, head coach for the Generals. “Overall, I thought the kids played pretty hard and 2-2 isn’t too bad.”
The Generals dropped their opening game to the Winnipeg Thrashers on Thursday evening. On Friday, they beat the Kenora Thistles in a shootout. They lost to the Winnipeg Wild on Saturday and capped off the tournament with a shutout win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.
“Our two losses were against the Winnipeg teams and we beat ourselves. We made a couple mistakes that are typically uncharacteristic and they were able to capitalize,” explained Wareham. “We had guys trying to do too much and we go outside our system structure and then when we make a mistake, we beat ourselves.”
Dakota Boutin scored four goals for the Generals, including a short-handed goal. That line of Boutin, Rykr Cole and Donovan Neuls were dangerous throughout the tournament, scoring nine points combined.
“That line was flying around all weekend and did a lot of good things and had a ton of chances,” he said. “Booty (Boutin) was able to find the back of the net a couple times.”
The goal of this weekend was to spark their offence, which has been struggling lately. However, only scoring nine goals throughout the tournament and none on the man advantage didn’t help get them back on track. The team is still looking for answers.
“Our power play … I thought we did some good things on it, we had great puck movement and opportunities, but just for whatever reason, we just can’t score right now,” said Wareham. “As long as we keep working, sooner or later, they will go in for us and we will be rewarded for our work.”
Wareham and the team also wanted to use this opportunity as a measuring stick for where they sit with other teams in Western Canada.
“It was good competition and we were able to challenge ourselves a little bit. We were able to see some of the better teams, so now we know what to expect and hopefully we can improve on what we need to do,” stated Wareham. “I thought we were one of the better teams or as good as the other teams there, but if the power play is clicking and going, that’s the difference and we are winning hockey games.”
The team will be back in league action on Saturday and Sunday in Tisdale. The Generals are hoping to focus on fixing the issues that they struggled with in the tournament. They will also be without four players due to the Under-16 Western Challenge tournament in Calgary this weekend.
“I think we need to stress that we have to stay within ourselves and not get outside of what we are trying to do. They saw what happens when we do that,” said Wareham. “We are going to be a bit short-staffed, so we will need guys to step it up and play bigger minutes and hopefully they can do that and we come out of there with a couple wins.”
Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.