Cole and Neuls score seven points each
The Moose Jaw Generals regrouped with two solid performances over the weekend.
© Katie Brickman
Branden Klatt of the Moose Jaw Generals tries to get a shot off against Beardy's Blackhawks during Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League action on Sunday at Mosaic Place. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
“It was good, especially after Thursday night,” said Ray Wareham, head coach of the Generals. “We had a good practice on Friday and we challenged the guys.”
The challenge appeared to work, as the team looked energized on Saturday in a playoff-type game against the Tisdale Trojans.
“We have to give our guys credit — they bounced back and worked extremely hard. Everyone raised up their game a level,” stated Wareham.
It was an important 5-4 victory for the Generals, as the Trojans trailed them by just a point prior to the game. The Generals still sit in fourth place in Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League standings.
“We weren’t without our mistakes, but we had the energy and the passion,” said Wareham. “We had a purpose to our game on Saturday and I really liked how we played.”
The power play has been an issue for the Generals all season long, as they have struggled to get anything going with the man advantage.
However, after bringing in Trevor Weisgerber as an assistant coach, the power play has surged. Weisgerber was an assistant coach for the Moose Jaw Warriors for two seasons.
On Saturday, they went 3-for-8 with the extra man. On Sunday, they went 2-for-7.
“It is a huge improvement. I think we will give Trevor the credit for that. We have a spread set up and just a couple little subtle changes that he has introduced to the guys and that has made a lot of difference,” explained Wareham. “And the guys have worked hard on the power play, which you should be doing. They have gotten some breaks and results, which has helped us out.”
On Sunday, the Generals continued to roll with a 5-2 win over Beardy’s Blackhawks at Mosaic Place.
“(Saturday) was a really emotional game and maybe took a toll on us Sunday. We did enough to get the win, so we are happy,” said Wareham.
Rykr Cole and Donovan Neuls carried the team’s offence on their backs this weekend as they both scored seven points each.
“I think Rykr, especially, since the Mac’s tournament, has really raised his game to another level. Neuls has been pretty steady since day one. With Trey (Tendler) being out, it is crucial for us to have them be those guys,” said Wareham. “Those two have to be horses for us and I think Rykr has played some of his best hockey in the last couple of weeks.”
For Cole, he is relishing the opportunity to play some extra minutes while Tendler and Regan Nagy are out of the lineup due to injuries. Cole had three goals and four assists while Neuls had seven helpers.
“I think there is more pressure on me to score goals and do my thing. I am having fun with it right now and it is good,” Cole said. “It is good to have a little pressure on your shoulders, knowing that you have to step up your game and play a bigger role. That is how it is going to be for a little while, so I better get used to it.”
The Generals will go on the road for three games in Regina, Wilcox and Swift Current before getting back on the ice at Mosaic Place on Jan. 25 against the Blackhawks again.
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