Grenadiers end Generals' season

Katie Brickman
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Emotional finish for host team at Telus

The bounces just never went their way this week.

The Moose Jaw Generals salute the crowd after having their season end in a 4-2 loss to the Chateauguay Grenadiers. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

The Moose Jaw Generals had their season end in heartbreaking fashion.

In the final round robin game of the Telus Cup, the Châteauguay Grenadiers defeated the Generals 4-2 to advance to the semifinal.

“It sucks. I think we deserved a better fate. We played our hearts out all week and it is just tough to see it end like this,” stated an emotional Shane Collins. “We needed that win and we were just trying to win. It is heartbreaking.”

The game was delayed for approximately 10 minutes early in the first period as a pane of glass in the northeast corner shattered.

After the delay, the Generals appeared to have the early jump, but couldn’t finish on any chances.

Regan Nagy dominated much of the game early on and scored in the slot just 1:29 into the second period.

“We got a couple bounces early in the game, but Quebec is a real good team, real fast. We played our hearts out today ... I’m proud of the boys,” said Nagy. “We were very excited and confident. We knew we could play with them and beat them, but unfortunately, at the end, we couldn’t.”

Brayden Delorme scored midway through the second frame on the power play and the Generals had a 2-0 lead.

The Grenadiers failed to register a shot until the midway mark of the period, but then they used their speed to take over the game.

“They are a very skilled team in the offensive end,” said Nagy. “They are really fast and I think that kind of surprised us at the end and put us on our heels.”

Martin-Olivier Cardinal was left alone in the slot on a power play and that got the Grenadiers on the board.

“We are really happy that we came back in the game. We were losing, so we showed some character and that is a big part of our team,” said a beaming Cardinal. “We were down 2-0 in Game 7 to win the (Quebec) final and we came back. We knew we could do it.”

Once the third got started, it was obvious the Generals were afraid to make a mistake and the Grenadiers pushed the pace.

“I think a few bounces went their way and we started to run around and play their game. It just didn’t work for us,” said Trey Tendler.

Alexandre Desgagnes scored the tying goal and that appeared to deflate the Generals’ bench.

“I thought we were fantastic, but just couldn’t catch a break. One little mistake and it is in the back of our net,” said Ray Wareham, head coach of the Generals. “The kids worked their butts all week. I just wish it would have turned out differently.”

With just over a minute to play, Wareham pulled Naherniak for an extra attacker. The Generals needed the win in order to get into the semifinal. A tie would not get them there.

“It was pretty tough. It is always a dream to win a national championship,” stated Naherniak. “When I saw the pucks go into the empty net, it was tough ... the whole body just shuts down and you don’t have any control over your emotions.”

Brandon McCulloch and Mikael Sabourin scored empty net goals to seal with victory for Châteauguay.

“We are really happy to be in the top four. That is where we wanted to be,” said Cardinal. “That was our goal and we want to win the gold.”

It was a difficult road for the Generals with a 45-day wait between their exit from the playoffs to the Telus Cup. Also, a host team has never won the Telus Cup since 1991.

“We wanted to compete in this tournament,” said Tendler. “We had 45 days off and I think people were ruling us out, but I am proud of everyone in there. They worked hard together and we almost had a shot at it.”

The Prince Albert Mintos and Okanagan Rockets will play at 2 p.m. and the Toronto Young Nationals and the Grenadiers will play at 6 p.m. in the semifinals on Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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