Generals look to build momentum

Katie
Katie Brickman
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Team hopes to use home heavy schedule to their benefit

The Moose Jaw Generals have a motto for the second half of their season: be consistent.

Moose Jaw Generals head coach Ray Wareham (centre) holds court with his players at the end of practice on Monday afternoon at Mosaic Place. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

“We have been all over the map a little bit, so we just want to be consistent with what we do and make sure we put forth a good effort every night,” said Ray Wareham, Generals head coach. “We do have a heavy loaded home schedule, which we set up that way on purpose, so we have taken care of the first half with all those road games pretty good, so now it is up to us to be good at home.”

The Generals were back at practice on Monday for the first time since having about a week off and the tempo was elevated and the energy was high.

The team will get back to Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League action on Thursday (7 p.m., Mosaic Place) against the Notre Dame Hounds where they have a 13-game unbeaten streak on the line.

The mentality of the team is good, despite some injuries and some players battling the flu. The players are focused on the task at hand in the second half.

“I think they are finally understanding what the Telus Cup means and what an opportunity they have to be in it,” said Wareham. “I think they are excited to be home a lot too because we haven’t played a lot here.”

The team went 2-1-1 at the Mac’s midget tournament in Calgary over the Christmas break, which was a good challenge for them.

That tournament showed how difficult some of the potential teams will be when they host the Telus Cup in April and proved what this team still has to do in order to be at their best.

“I think we have a team that when we play how we want to, we can beat any team in the league,” said defenceman Shane Collins. “If we play our game plan and execute, we should have good chance of winning games.”

One of the biggest areas the Generals have struggled with is playing at a high level when facing teams below them in the standings. This weekend will be a good test for the team to show they can maintain a high level effort when Tisdale and Beardy’s come to Mosaic Place this weekend.

“We just have to bear down every game and try to get wins. The teams ahead of us keep winning games, so we have to keep doing the same to catch up and try to get first place,” said Collins. “We just have to prepare ourselves before the games. We have to come in with the right mindset and ready to go.”

Wareham and his coaching staff will have one-on-one meetings with each player to talk about everyone’s positioning on the team and their goals going into the stretch.

Defenceman Ben Verrall was called up by the Prince Albert Raiders over the break, where he saw action in one game, but he is now back with the Generals.

The back end is healthy, as are both goaltenders, but they could be down to 10 forwards on Thursday with some injury issues.

The Generals currently sit in fourth place with a 16-6-4-0 record with 36 points in 26 games.  

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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