It was a strong reminder that no one is unbeatable and all good things must come to an end.
In a one-sided game on Jan. 17, the Bentley Generals ended their winning streak when they lost to the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs 7-1.
Speaking after the game, Coach Ryan Tobler said to put it simply, the Generals got beat and badly.
“We got schooled tonight, no question.”
Things were not looking good for the Generals even in the first period. Fort Saskatchewan was out maneuvering and outpassing Bentley to keep much better control of the ice and the game. Solid defence from the Chiefs added to the Generals woes as they could not break through to the net and when they did the impeccable goalkeeping of Jim Watt still prevented them from scoring. However, the Chiefs had little trouble finding the back of the Generals’ net and the period ended 3-0 in favour of Fort Saskatchewan.
It looked like a comeback might be at hand for Bentley when they scored the first goal of the second period. However, those hopes were dashed later in the period, when Fort Saskatchewan answered the goal with two of their own to make the score 5-1 at the end of the second.
By the third period, the frustrations of the Generals were clear as they became more and more aggressive to their opponents and the game became rougher. A few fights nearly broke out after whistles, leading to a number of penalties to both sides, particularly for the Generals. Fort Saskatchewan scored two more goals to add insult to injury and ended the game 7-1.
It was a disappointing end to the Generals 12-game winning streak that began with a win against the Chiefs on Nov. 9. Despite 28 shots on net, Bentley could not score more than once or break the momentum of the successful Fort Saskatchewan offence.
Tobler said he did not want to make excuses for why the team performed poorly. Instead, he said the important thing to focus on is learning from last weekend’s game and using it as motivation in the future.
“I could go on and on about the negatives of this game but the bottom line is you have to keep moving forward.” He added that a lot of the players in the dressing room after the game were upset and frustrated and eager to prove they could perform better than they had Friday night.
“There is no doubt in mind that we will have a big effort next game.”
Tobler went on to add that he thought the most important lesson from the loss against Fort Saskatchewan was to always be ready for anything. Just because the Generals are on a steak doesn’t mean they won’t meat another hot team, he said. Tobler added that, he hopes to use what the Generals learned from last Friday’s game to turn things around the next time they face off against the Chiefs.