IMPRESSIVE DEBUT- From right

IMPRESSIVE DEBUT- From right

Generals open new building with memorable win

Lacombe Generals take down Ft. Sask. Chiefs in a gruelling match for the Gens.' first home game in their new arena

BY ZACHARY CORMIER

Well, if you’re going to win your long-delayed home ice debut in front of 650 people by only one goal, you might as well give them a finish to remember.

A heart-stopping final 10 seconds, a buzzer sounding and the almost-simultaneous sound of the swish of a puck hitting mesh, all of it accompanied by the sight of a referee frantically waving his arms will live on in the minds of many of the fans who packed into the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex on Friday night to witness the Lacombe Generals’ first game in their new arena when they hosted the Ft. Saskatchewan Chiefs.

“It was a little bit sketchy there at the end but we got it done, so that’s all that matters,” said Generals goalie Kraymer Barnstable of the final 10 seconds of the game, which saw the visitors fire the puck past his sprawling frame and into the net just after the buzzer sounded.

The goal, which would have tied the game and sent it to overtime, was disallowed, however, allowing the Generals to hold on for a 3-2 win in the long-anticipated debut.

“I was saved by the buzzer, at least, so that was nice,” laughed the ‘tender, who stopped 23 of 25 shots directed towards him on the way to the win.

“I thought we made it entertaining, I guess, at the end of the day,” added Generals Head Coach Curtis Austring, adding that despite rather frantic final minute, he was proud of his team’s effort in the game.

“Overall at the end of the day I thought, hey, we competed hard, they competed hard. It was a good home opener.”

Right from the start of the game, the Generals were on their game, peppering Chiefs goalie Ryan Demharter with shots at every opportunity.

On more than one occasion in the opening frame a Generals player would find himself with the puck on his stick and nothing in front of him but a wide open net.

Yet, somehow, the game remained scoreless at the end of the first period.

“The problem becomes if you try and re-invent the wheel,” said Austring of his team’s play in the first.

He explained that sometimes teams who are having as much success as the Generals will struggle to convert on scoring chances for a variety of reasons.

“If you’re getting chances, that’s a good thing. You just have to find a way to bury them. And, more-or-less, that’s a mental thing. It’s your focus level, your hunger around the net. We were having a good period, we were cycling well, we had some good puck possession. We just didn’t have the last play to make a goal of it.”

But that wasn’t a problem in the second period. Just six minutes after the Chiefs scored to break the scoreless tie, Jesse Todd potted the game-tying goal and spurred the Gens’ scorers into action.

Less than four minutes after that, Mike Wirll solved Demharter to give his team a 2-1 lead heading into the second period, a lead which they held onto until the end of the game.

“Our guys, with the talent they’ve got, they found a way,” Austring said, adding that while it wasn’t the prettiest victory, a win is a win.

It was a heck of a way to come home after a two month long road trip that saw the hometown team go 9-1-0 in their first 10 games of the season.

“It’s been pretty awesome to see the guys come together. Especially having all of those road games at the start of the year, it’s helped us bond and it’s helped us come together. It’s been fun. It’s fun to win, so it’s been good to be a part of that,” said Barnstable.

The game was also the first time that the Generals were able to play a game out of their new dressing room at the Sportsplex, which includes all the amenities a high-level hockey team might need, and which the coach also said is an awesome place to be able to hang their jerseys.

“We’re just excited to be here in Lacombe, get the home opener and get a win. The community, that’s what this team’s about. That’s what we love. The game is one thing but hey, it’s the community people here around the game that’s great.”

The Lacombe Generals were back in action on Wednesday night when they hosted the Innisfail Eagles at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. The game was not over at press time.

The team will play almost all of their remaining regular season games at home this year, save for one out of town date with the Stony Plain Eagles on Jan. 14.

zcormier@lacombeexpress.com

 

Lacombe Generals

Just Posted

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Photo Courtesy: Echo Lacombe Association logo.
Lacombe City Council supports Echo Lacombe with location for pilot program

Echo Lacombe Association will run a pilot propgram on food rescue until November, 1, 2021

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

File Photo
Blackfalds RCMP seeking suspects in traffic collision

RCMP are asking the public for help identifing two suspects wanted for multiple offences

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday June 12th, 2021

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Most Read