Playoff-level intensity is hard to get during the regular season.
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Ahmed Ally, left, is checked by Wyatt Riendeau in the Moose Jaw Generals scrimmage Tuesday. Both players are affiliates who are taking part to help the Generals prepare for the Telus Cup.
It's near-impossible to get in a scrimmage.
That is the challenge facing the Moose Jaw Generals as they try to prepare to host the Telus Cup. The team held the fifth of its six intrasquad scrimmages. Even with the additions of affiliates and graduated players, the level of the competition has decreased each time out.
"From game one to now the level of play has dropped off," said Generals head coach Ray Wareham. "I don't know if you'd call it intensity or stupidity … if we act like that in the Telus Cup we're going to be an embarrassment."
The recent games have been an interesting paradox — the intensity and physicality hasn't been great, but the games are also getting increasingly chippy. Tuesday Rykr Cole was given a double-minor for cross-checking after he put his stick across the throat of Shane Collins to pin him to the glass after the whistle.
"We're playing hard. You have to have an edge to your game. At Telus we're going to have to be a tough team, so we have to bring it now," said Cole who was second in team scoring with 45 points in 41 games. "Everyone has been going hard and we know we have to be playing at full speed so we're ready when they come to our barn. I think the scrimmages have prepared us well."
The teams combined for 11 minor penalties Tuesday and Generals veteran Regan Nagy said it's hard to find the right level of intensity as they prepare to host the best midget AAA teams in the country.
"It's tough against your own teammates I guess, but I think we're there. I think we're ready for it," said Nagy. "The competitive side comes out a little bit and guys take a number and try to get them back, but that's not the thing to do against your own teammates with Telus coming in two weeks."
The Generals may have gotten some bad news as Josh Beaudry went down with an injury in his first game back from a shoulder injury.
"It looks like a hyper-extended elbow. He said he got caught in an awkward position. We thought it might have been his shoulder again, but that wasn't the case," said Wareham. "He's looked really good in practice. I feel for the kid. Hopefully it's nothing too serious."
The Generals are supposed to submit their 20-man roster this week, but they could make a late change due to an injury.
In the game White beat Red 6-3. Nagy and Cole each had a goal and an assist in the win. Ty Anderson, Braydon Delorme, Jared Legien and Riley Cannon also scored. Donovan Neuls had a goal and an assist for Red. Riley Mohr scored his first goal of the season minutes after he thought he scored a power play goal. Caleb Riess had the other Red goal.