Big test for team on Saturday in Prince Albert
Even an early goal by Jared Legien couldn’t energize the Moose Jaw Generals.
© Katie Brickman
Matt Kustra of the Notre Dame Hounds makes a toe save on Riley Cannon of the Moose Jaw Generals during Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League action on Thursday night at Mosaic Place. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
It wasn’t the Generals best effort, but they skated to a 2-2 draw with the Notre Dame Argos and will gladly take the point.
“I didn’t think our best players were our best players and if we want to have success, we can’t let that happen,” said Ray Wareham, head coach of the Generals.
Legien scored just over a minute into the game and it looked like the Generals were going to steal another two points from the league leading Argos at Mosaic Place on Thursday night, but couldn’t get any momentum.
“Even that goal didn’t seem to generate much,” said Wareham. “We played a lot of important games lately, so I don’t know if it is wearing on them a little bit.”
The Generals struggled at times to get out of their own zone, allowing the Argos to continue to attack on offence.
“They held us in our own end and they exploited our weakness — our back end. They struggle and they don’t have the quickest of feet back there,” stated Wareham. “I didn’t they were that good back there and they need to be better, especially if we are going to play a team like that.”
The Argos outshot the Generals 33-18, with Grant Naherniak making 31 saves.
“I thought Grant had one of his better games of the year,” said Wareham. “He looked pretty steady and confident in there. I thought he was really solid and good for us and he needed to be for us to get a point.”
Naherniak was very vocal throughout the game, helping his defencemen and forwards out. Being chatty is something that comes natural for the veteran goaltender.
“Grant is a talker. He is talking to the guys a lot and we need that. That has been an issue for us from Day 1 for our d-men,” explained Wareham. “For whatever reason, they don’t talk to each other.”
The Generals gave up back-to-back power play goals to the Argos in the second period but were also to tie the game back up with 42 seconds left in the frame on their own power play marker.
“We knew they were going to come hard … they weren’t happy with the last game. They have some talented kids that see the ice extremely well and they are very rarely standing still,” said Wareham.
Wareham did think his team got better as the game wore on as they kept the Argos skilled players to the outside even though they were in their end for stretches.
“There are a lot of good things to build off, but we didn’t seem that into for whatever reason, but you will have those games once in awhile,” he said.
The Generals won’t be able to rest easy as they have another tough test on Saturday when the head to Prince Albert to face the Mintos — who they are tied with in the standings.
“It is an intense game up there and we have had success in the past. We are 3-0 against them this year,” said Wareham. “It looks like it will be a pretty important game as far as standings go. We are looking forward to it.”
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