Legien scores game winner over rival Mintos
The Moose Jaw Generals passed a big test on Sunday afternoon.
© Katie Brickman
Jared Legien (10) of the Moose Jaw Generals celebrates the eventual game winning goal midway through the third period over the Prince Albert Mintos in Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League action on Sunday afternoon at Mosaic Place. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
With the Prince Albert Mintos in town and four points in front of the Generals, it was a must-win game.
“We are very proud of the kids. It was just a gusty effort,” said Ray Wareham, head coach of the Generals. “I just thought it was a real solid effort from all our guys.”
The game was delayed an hour due to road conditions and weather and both teams looked sluggish at the start, but the Generals held on for the 2-1 victory.
“I think our guys were here fairly early then all of the sudden had to sit around. But, they had to sit around on the bus on the highway. It was similar and affected both teams to get going,” said Wareham. “I thought as the game went on, we saw the P.A. Mintos and the Moose Jaw Generals were pretty similar clubs. They play the same way and the game got better as it went on.”
The Generals also pulled with two points of the Mintos in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League standings with the win.
“We haven’t played a game like this in a while. We have been playing those bottom-half teams where the intensity might not be there,” said Wareham. “Every little mistake is magnified in these kinds of games. We just stressed that to the guys to maintain that work ethic.”
The Mintos outshot the Generals 6-0 to start the game. The Generals didn’t get their first shot on Mintos’ goaltender Lance Michasiw until 12:23 of the opening period.
However, after a power play, the Generals seemed to find their energy and outshot the Mintos 10-9 after the first.
Rykr Cole of the Generals was ejected at the end of the period after receiving a checking-from-behind penalty.
“When you lose a guy (Cole) that has been real good for you in the last couple weeks early in the game, other guys had to step up and play some bigger minutes,” said Wareham.
One of those players that stepped up and played well was rookie Jared Legien. He has had an up and down season thus far, but since the Christmas break, Legien has looked stronger and more engaged in the game, scoring 10 points in the last eight games.
“I challenged Jared at the start of the year with his work ethic. In fairness to him, he has come on here in the last little while and picked it up,” said Wareham.
The Mintos scored early in the second period as the Generals were trying to kill off a 5-on-3 situation.
Late in the second, Riley Cannon tipped in a shot off the faceoff to square the teams up heading into the intermission.
Midway through the third period, Legien shot a loose puck in the slot past Michasiw for the eventual game winner.
“It felt great. All the boys have been working hard lately, so it felt good to put it in the net,” said Legien of the goal. “It feels good to step up and help the boys win the game.”
The Generals beat Beardy’s Blackhawks on Saturday 8-2 with Cole scoring a hat trick in the first period.
“Saturday we moved the puck nicely and we were finding some lanes and capitalized early,” said Wareham.
The Generals have now won three straight games, but their schedule gets tougher in the next week. They face the Notre Dame Argos, two games with the Battleford Stars, and another game with the Argos and another matchup with the Mintos.
“We talked about it that our next five games are crucial,” said Wareham. “It is a tough stretch, but this is the type of hockey you want to be playing down the stretch.”
Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.