The Lacombe Generals were on the round on Friday — playing a drastically improved Innisfail Eagles club that have gone neck-and-neck with the Gens all season.
This night was no different, with the score never being more than one opportunity away. On this night, it would be the Eagles would have the last laugh — winning 4-3 in a overtime thriller.
The first period would see the Eagles notch the only goal of the frame when Blair Mulder took a pass from Taylor Mulder to put his team up 1-0.
“We had a terrible first period,” Generals Coach Sean Robertson said. “The worst I’ve seen in two years. We were so not ready to play and put ourselves in a hole.”
It wouldn’t take much of the second period for the Generals to provide an answer when first-linemates Kyle Stroh and Levi Nelson connected for Nelson’s third goal of the season.
The Eagles would have an answer three minutes later when Shawn Bates scored a powerplay goal to reestablish the one-goal lead at 2-1, but the Generals would have the answer once again when Jesse Todd tied the game on a pass from Adam Huxley.
The third period began once again with the Eagles going up a goal when Caylan Walls banged home a goal to make the score 3-2, but Nelson would find a way to respond for the Generals with his fourth of the season — leading to a 3-3 tie game at the end of regulation.
“We had to move some guys around to try and find a spark so we juggled the lines,” Robertson said. “I would say that we didn’t really have any depth the way we played last night.
“Our depth is our energy guys and guys that are counted on to be responsible.”
The Eagles would make overtime a short one when Tyler Beechey scored 15 seconds into the frame leading to the final score of 4-3 for Innisfail.
“We had every opportunity to win but I don’t think we deserved to,” Robertson said.
The Generals will have a chance for revenge right away when they play at rare Wednesday night home game against the Eagles on Jan. 23rd at 8 p.m. Lacombe will then play three days later at home against the Rosetown Red Wings on Jan. 26th at 7:30 p.m.
” We have to reset,” Robertson said. “We have to learn from our mistakes, respect our opponent and respect how hard it is to win. We need to understand what brings us success and we definitely can’t be giving up 4 goals a game.
“We have been inconsistent and now is the time of year that you need to find a rhythm. So I think it’s good we get to get right back on the horse. I wish we played tonight.”