AA Lacombe Generals 6 – 4 Daysland Northstars
It was tough skating for the AA Lacombe Generals against the Daysland Northstars early but an unbelievable third period led to a thrilling finale in Lacombe.
A four goal, first period flurry by the Northstars would appear to seal Lacombe’s fate early; but five goals unanswered goals for the Gens’ would put this one to bed — leading to a 6-4 final.
“It was good getting back to the way we like in the third,” Generals Captain Jared Williams said.
Generals forward Arseni Oursov would score the first goal of the game quickly off the horn, but Daysland goals by Lane Lightning, Colin Zimmer, Ryley Bennefield and Zach Ayotte would leave the Generals searching for answers heading into the second period.
“It wasn’t the start we wanted. We came out and got the first one but obviously let our foot off the gas,” Williams said.
The Generals were energized by an early second period goal by Dallas Smith, but couldn’t find enough magic to make it a one-goal game, despite being on the powerplay twice.
Lacombe went into the third period with their prospects looking grim, down 4-2 and needing to kill off a two-minute minor by Josh Smith for slashing.
“When they got those goals early, we were happy we had enough time to turn it around. If you are down by three goals, it makes it a lot harder. When that happens it’s tough to take, but you have to rally,” Generals said.
Despite dim prospects, the Generals would kill that penalty and make the game a one-goal game. Lacombe would follow that up with three more goals including Smith’s second, the game-winner by Williams and a penalty shot by Josh Smith to give the Gens’ a two goal cushion.
“A third period like that is pretty wild and the emotions are all over the place. It is nice to be on the positive side of a crazy third period like that,” Williams said.
This game, however, taught fans that no lead is safe and the Generals had to hand out tight to secure the victory.
Late penalties by Patrick Turville and Josh Smith would mean Lacombe would ride out the last seconds of this one on a 6-on-4 disadvantage after Daysland pulled Netminder Garret Montour.
Some spectacular late saves by Travis Yonkman, who finished with 30 on the night, and a saving-grace goal post meant that the Gens’ would hold on to win an absolute blockbuster 6-4 game.
“It was a team effort. Everyone was pulling the rope the right direction and Josh Smith played a great game with two goals and and an assist on my goal. Big team win and a lot of energy from that going forward into the playoffs,” Williams said.
Williams said it was nice to start playing good hockey.
“We haven’t been playing hockey since Christmas, so it was nice to get something out there on the ice to build off of and take forward into the playoffs,” Williams said.
AA Lacombe Generals 4 – 2 Devon Barons
The Lacombe Generals went on the road to Devon to take on the Barons and a chance to secure sole possession of sixth place in the NCHL standings.
After a challenging first period, the Generals would score three unanswered to win this one 4-2.
Dayton Murray would kick off the scoring for Devon after taking a pass from Michael MacDonald.
The Gens’ would march back in the second, with Vince Connon, Brian Pieper and Kyle Maas scoring three unanswered goals before MacDonald would answer back with a goal of his own for the Barons.
Despite a tight 3-2 game heading into the third, Jared Williams would give Lacombe the cushion they need, taking a pass from Dallas Smith to make the score 4-2.
Travis Yonkman stopped 31 shots for the win.
The win gave Lacombe 17 points on the year and sole possession of sixth place heading into the NCHL playoffs. A playoff schedule will soon be available which will include home games at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.
“Every little bit helps. You want to get as high as you can to set yourself up for the playoffs,” Williams said.