Excitement grows for Generals

Katie Brickman
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As teams are set for Telus, host prepares for games

The final preparations are slowing beginning for the Moose Jaw Generals.

Moose Jaw Generals forward Jared Dmytriw and head coach Ray Wareham watch a drill during practice on Wednesday afternoon at Mosaic Place. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

With five of the six teams set for the Telus Cup, the hosts are prepping for their opponents.

The road to Telus is almost complete, with just the Quebec region needing to be decided between the Grenadiers de Châteauguay and Phénix du Collège Esther-Blondin.

The Generals continued practicing on Wednesday, although it appears things are getting old and stale as the intensity levels dip on the ice.

“It wasn’t the best practice we’ve had,” said Ray Wareham, head coach for the Generals. “Tuesday wasn’t the best scrimmage, but it is difficult to get them going when they are playing against buddies and teammates. It just is not the same thing.”

However, as the practices and scrimmages continue to drag on, the team is starting to feel the excitement of playing in the national tournament.

“When you think about when we first started coming back and practising, it was a ways away, but now we’ve had these scrimmages and it is getting closer and closer and the excitement is starting to build, especially since we know who is coming,” said forward Jared Dmytriw. “It is starting to sink in and we just have to prepare for each game.”

The Generals know two of the teams that are coming to Mosaic Place from April 21 to 27— the Prince Albert Mintos and the Okanagan Rockets and they hope having prior knowledge will help them in the tournament.

“We had a good year against P.A. and we saw the Okanagan team at the Mac’s Tournament. We are really looking forward to it,” said Dmytriw. “With P.A. coming, we feel confident with the way we played them this season and hopefully we can take them out.”

With still a full week before the preliminary games begin, the Generals are trying to put the focus on themselves and not overly concentrate on their opponents.

“The main thing is, we just have to execute what we do. If we do that, we will be fine. We will just take care of ourselves,” said Wareham.  “We haven’t really touched base on any of those teams yet. We will have a whole week of preparation next week where we can touch up on some things.”

The team worked on odd-man rushes and driving to the net in practice on Wednesday, so that they are sharp for game action.

“We all want to hang back and be the high guy so we can get the puck. You aren’t going to get the puck if you don’t have net drive,” said Wareham. “That was the focus … just working on getting that middle drive and pushing those D back, which will hopefully open up that area for that third or fourth guy coming.”

As the excitement starts to build in the city, some pressure is creeping into the Generals dressing room.

“You can see the posters around town, the signs are going up, there are things on the tables in restaurants,” said Dmytriw. “You can start to feel the pressure a little bit. People at school are taking about it, but it will be good once we get out there.”

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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