© Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
Shane Blomquist, goaltender for the Swift Current Legionnaires looks behind him as Ryke Cole of the Moose Jaw Generals celebrates his first period goal on Thursday evening at Mosaic Place.
Team heads into Sask. Midget AAA Hockey LEague break unbeaten in 13 games
As the Moose Jaw Generals break for the Christmas holidays, the coaches are still hoping for simplicity.
By Katie Brickman
“The kids are probably sick of that word (simplicity), but you can’t make it any more simple — we just try to do too much at times,” stated Ray Wareham, Generals head coach. “Our D go D-to-D, but we have no wingers on the wall, so no one to pass the puck to because they are all circling around in the neutral zone. The game isn’t played that way.”
The Generals finished the first half of the season on a 13-game unbeaten streak, as they held on for the 4-3 victory over the Swift Current Legionnaires in Sask. Midget AAA Hockey League action at Mosaic Place on Thursday.
“We will take the points, but I’m very disappointed in the effort,” said Wareham. “It is Christmastime and they know they are going home after the game, but we tried to stress to them after the game — we need to understand that was nowhere near good enough. We are going to have to be better in the new year or it will be a long few months for us.”
Swift Current struck first as the Generals looked sloppy and sluggish, but Riley Cannon got the Generals on the board shortly after on a broken play.
Rykr Cole gave the Generals the lead late in the first period on the power play, but that lead would not hold up.
“Swift Current obviously plays us tough, but they keep it simple,” said Wareham. “Then our guys want to stick handle through five guys and turn pucks over. It just doesn’t make sense.”
The Legionnaires scored early in the second period to tie the game, but Jared Leigen scored his sixth of the season to retake the lead.
The middle frame was a much better period for the Generals, but they still lacked a hard fought effort in securing the puck in their zone and rushing up the ice.
The Legionnaires didn’t have a difficult time entering the Generals zone, but goaltender Colby Entz was strong in net when needed.
Again, it was the Legionnaires on the attack in the third period as they tied the game up on the power play.
But, the Generals continued to fight back, even with a bit of help from the referees. Swift Current’s Keegan Lugt got an interference penalty and then four seconds later; the Legionnaires got a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.
With the game tied at three and just over four minutes to play, the Generals were headed onto a 5-on-3.
Brayden Delorme finally got the Generals’ winning goal with four seconds and eight seconds remaining on the two power plays.
“I was trying to feed it to Trey in the slot and it just went off the D-man’s stick and went into the net. Lucky goal,” said Delorme of the goal. “We are used to each other, so we work well together.”
That line of Cannon, Delorme and Tendler has been the primary scoring line for the Generals with a combined total of 86 points so far this season. Tendler sits fourth in the league scoring lead with 20 goals and 36 points.
“They have been fantastic. I don’t know what we would be doing without them. If you want to define simplicity, just look at those three guys,” said Wareham. “They are on the walls and they keep pucks moving north and south. They go to work and when they have opportunities to take it to the net, they take it to the net and are willing to pay the price to score a goal.”
The Generals are now off until Dec. 25, when they head to the Mac’s Tournament in Calgary.
Katie Brickman can be reached at 306-691-1260 or follow her on Twitter @katiebrickman