The AA Lacombe Generals came into Game 2 of their first round NCHL series against the Daysland Northstars hoping to build off a huge 2-1 on the road last week.
Unfortunately for the Gens’, sustained bursts of offence by Daysland would establish two two-goal leads, the second of which the Northstars would not relinquish, en route to 7-5 win.
“We have played a lot of hockey against them the last few years. There is obviously a rivalry and we need to try to stay disciplined,” Generals Coach Jordan Koopmans said after the game.
The 3-1 first period lead for Daysland was over shadowed after a Northstars defencemen Tanner Korchinksi went down with what appeared to be neck or head injury. Korchinski had to be removed off on a stretcher by Lacombe EMS.
No update was available at press time.
“I didn’t really see the play but I hope he is recovering,” Koopmans said about the play.
Colin Zimmer, Tylor Keller and Ryley Bennefield all scored for the Northstars, while Brian Pieper scored Lacombe’s lone goal.
The Gens’ worked hard in the second, tying the game up a 3-3 after getting goals from Calke Walker and Chance Abbot, but their momentum was short lived.
Northstar Rhett Dudley scored 12 seconds after Abbotts goal, followed by Bennefield grabbing his second of the game just over a minute later.
The Gens’ would head out of the second once again having to battle back from a two-goal deficit.
“Once we get that momentum, we have to try to sustain it. It is a game of emotions out there, it’s the playoffs and it’s hard-hitting. I think if we keep that momentum for ourselves, it will definetly benefit us,” Koopmans said.
The Gen’s would once again fight back in the third but the Northstars, once again had the answer.
After Kenny Bradley put Daysland up 6-3 early in the frame, Lacombe answered back with key goals by Abbot and Matt Richardson to make it a one-goal game.
The Gens’ would threaten, but were ultimately put away by Bradley who cashed in his second of the game with an empty-netter — leading to the final score of 7-5.
Playing the shootout game to 10 is not how we want to play. If we play a 60 minute game and not spot them a lead, the game will definetly be more our style,” Koopmans said.
Paul Laferriere turned away 29 shots to grab the win, while Gens’ netminder Travis Yonkman stopped 21.
The puck drops for Game 3 in Daysland on Friday, Feb. 7, followed by Game 4 in Lacombe the following night. Game 5 would, if necessary cap off the weekend on Sunday in Daysland.
“We have to have everyone going. We can’t have passengers out there,” Koopmans said about next weekend.