Unbeaten streak ends

Katie
Katie Brickman
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Hounds beat Generals in SMAAAHL action

Grant Naherniak and the Moose Jaw Generals probably want a reset button.

Jamie Yanko of the Notre Dame Hounds looks to hit Brayden Delorme of the Moose Jaw Generals during Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League action at Mosaic Place on Thursday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

The starting goaltender for the Generals was not sharp in their 4-3 loss to the Notre Dame Hounds on Thursday night. In fact, he almost certainly would like at least three of the goals back.

“I didn’t think he was very good,” said Ray Wareham, head coach of the Generals. “It is tough to loss one like that, but he has been there lots for us before.

“You would think the team would answer the bell and pick him up when he is having an off night, but that didn’t happen either.”

This was the Generals first loss in 13 Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League games and their first loss of 2014. Not the way they had intended on starting the new year or the second half of the season.

“I thought we had three good days at practice and they seemed ready and eager to go, but then their true colours and selfishness showed,” said Wareham. “I am extremely disappointed in a lot of guys in that dressing room.”

Turnovers were a major issue for the Generals, many which led to scoring chances for the Hounds.

“We were one step behind,” said Wareham. “There is no other way to say it, we were just bad.”

The penalty kill is usually a strength for the Generals, but they allowed two goals on seven Hounds extra opportunities. They didn’t look overly strong nor confident with the puck when on the kill.

“All of the sudden, we forgot what we were supposed to do,” said Wareham.

Egor Popov scored a natural hat trick for the Hounds, including a power play marker. His first goal came on just the second shot on goal by the Hounds in the game in the opening period.

The Generals answered back shortly after with a highlight shot by Rykr Cole who ripped a shot in the top corner, sending goaltender’s Clarke Flegel’s water bottle off the net and spinning into the air.

Popov beat Naherniak twice high blocker side from the slot in the second and third period to complete the hat trick.

The Generals scored early in the third period on a bullet point shot from Dawson Davidson and Riley Cannon scored with 1:36 remaining in the third to bring the Generals within one, but it wasn’t enough.

“We have more guys interested in individual stats than the team stats,” he said. “It gets frustrating and nothing seems to work.”

Wareham has been happy that the team has continued to pull out wins despite a lack of effort some nights. He is hoping this will be a hard lesson learned.

The Generals will look to rebound this weekend when Tisdale comes this Saturday (7 p.m., Mosaic Place) and Beardy’s visit on Sunday (1:30 p.m., Mosaic Place).

“If they don’t learn from this, we are in for a rude awakening this weekend,” said Wareham. “We will see what kind of character we have in this room.”

GENERALS NOTES: Forward Regan Nagy may be out for the year after his MRI results came back. He is suffering from a bulging disc in his lower back. He injured himself while in Victoria with the Royals while in the gym lifting weights. He attempted to play through the injury, but kept re-aggravating it.

“They have referred him to a neurosurgeon. It is unlikely he will play again this year,” said Wareham. “We will see if there is no surgery required. My understanding is that is a two-to-three month process to rehab it and that is not doing anything.”

Wareham was told that it is abnormal for a 16-year-old to have this issue, especially the for the apparent size of the injury.

“I feel bad for him, but he has the rest of his life he has to worry about,” said Wareham. “I am not familiar with this stuff, but after talking to the doctors, it doesn’t sound good for us, but it can be fixed and maybe he can play next year. That is ultimately what we want, getting him healthy.”

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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