By Zachary Cormier
Although it’s still early in the season Chinook Hockey League season, the Lacombe Generals can be pretty pleased with the way that they’ve played so far.
The Generals have yet to suffer their first loss this season after five games, and according to Head Coach Curtis Austring, the team has been enjoying its place atop the Chinook League standings in the early goings of the year.
“We enjoy winning and you always want to be putting your best foot forward. I think we’ve been getting better as the season’s progressing and guys are getting more comfortable,” said Austring.
Despite the fact they are still in the midst of a monster road trip which lasts until December, the Gens have been able to put up at least one win against every team in the ChHL, including a 5-3 victory over the Innisfail Eagles this past Friday and a 5-4 overtime triumph over the Stony Plain Eagles the following night.
“I think it’s been a big positive for our group with the amount of new players on our roster. It’s been a good opportunity to get on the bus and kind of get to know each other and get around the group in a concentrated setting. Getting on the road certainly helps build those relationships,” Austring said of the extended road swing.
So far this year, Austring’s squad have posted some impressive numbers, outscoring opponents 24-14 as they worked their way through the field.
Still, the rookie coach said there’s always room for improvement.
“You obviously want to put yourself in a good position when playoffs roll around. That’s an objective of ours is to finish at the top of the standings. But we want our game to be where it needs to be by the end of the year. So we’re certainly improving but I think that we’ve still got some work to do.”
A couple of new faces have been leading the way for the Generals offensively this season.
Former Victoria Royals forward Brandon Magee (4G-4A) currently leads the league in points with eight while Myles Bell tops the league in goals with six.
“We’ve got some good talent on our roster. Some guys who really just need one opportunity at the net to make it count,” Austring said, adding that now that some of the lines have started to find some chemistry, the entire team has been contributing.
“I think everyone on the team here has got a drive to win and they want to do well and that ingredient is really the foundation to being successful here in our league. It’s really just about trust at the end of the day. Our guys are trusting each other to do the right things on the ice and then they’re just talented hockey players, too,” Austring said.
The Lacombe Generals are back in action this coming Saturday when they visit the Innisfail Eagles at the Innisfail Twin Arenas. Puck drop on that one is 8:30 p.m.