STRONG TO THE END - The Lacombe Generals fought hard through their season in an attempt to secure the Allan Cup Championship for the second year in a row

STRONG TO THE END - The Lacombe Generals fought hard through their season in an attempt to secure the Allan Cup Championship for the second year in a row

Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts overtake Generals in Allan Cup final, 7-4

The Gens fought hard through the season, but couldn’t grasp the Cup.

  • Apr. 20, 2017 10:00 a.m.

BY KALISHA MENDONSA

The beloved Lacombe Generals army fought hard for their place in the Allan Cup Championship, but unfortunately fell short in the final game of the tournament.

The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts swept the title from underneath the Gens, taking home the Allan Cup with a 7-4 final score on April 15th.

The five-day tournament was an intense showdown among some of the country’s best teams, and was hosted in Bouctouche, New Brunswick.

Generals Head Coach Curtis Austring said although they didn’t take home the win, he’s still extremely proud of what they accomplished this season.

“To me, this is some of the best hockey you can see in the country. At our level, it’s the pinnacle everybody gears up for the Allan Cup,” he said.

“As far as the competition goes, this is one of the deepest pools of teams that we could possibly face.”

As a former Gens player and Allan Cup Champion himself, Austring personally knows the effort it takes to make it to the top and to fall short at the last call.

“I think there’s a number of guys who’ve come up and said at the end of the day, they still can’t wait for next year.

“As a player, I remember sitting in Newfoundland after we’d lost to South East [Prairie Thunder] I had the same mindset I said, ‘we’re going to come back and take this thing next year’, which we did.

“Once you’ve come that close to winning, and know that you could have won, it’s just tough and I know we could have won.”

Austring explained that sometimes, games are so hard-fought because the match-up of the teams is just a strong pair. However, he added that he didn’t necessarily feel that was the case this year.

“I think they’re an excellent club, the Cataracts, but we’re a strong team, too, and there’s no reason we couldn’t have won that hockey game, even playing five and five. It just wasn’t in the cards for us that day,” he said, adding the team is walking away from the loss with a lesson.

“I think our discipline wasn’t great, throughout the season, first of all, but ultimately in the tournament. You know, you roll through our league and it’s pretty intense. They’re physical games a lot more of what I would call ‘playoff hockey’. You get into that tournament, and things kind of change a bit.”

He explained that once you enter the realm of the Allan Cup Championships, the games simply have less room for error. He said there is more of a mental focus among contenders, and issues like penalties can get the better of a team if they’re not careful.

Austring said he felt there were some less-than-worthy calls in the final game but players have to keep their heads cool to avoid building up those penalty calls. During these crucial games, he added, it becomes down to a balance between physical strength and smart moves.

“Even in the finals, there were some calls made that I’d say were marginal calls, but they’re being called penalties regardless you can’t change that decision,” he said simply.

“But it’s important for our guys to know that sometimes. There are things they might normally do to play physical, and coming into this tournament, you have to play it smart.”

He said this is all part of the learning experience that comes with competition. Ultimately, the loss simply becomes the fuel for next year’s fire.

The Generals have pushed to the final round of the Allan Cup for the last three years, with no intentions of giving up soon. Austring said the support in the community for the team continues to grow, and the dedication of the players becomes more solid each and every year.

“This game is played on the ice, but once you’re around the group and I’ve been in the vortex for a number of years you see they’re just good people. They care about each other, they want to win and they’re here for a purpose. With hockey and with competition, when you come with a purpose and a goal to win the Allan Cup you’re going to find the right people to do that,” he said.

“These are guys who are competitive. they’re guys who care. When you have that on a team, it’s pretty special to be around. This year was no different.”

Austring said each year, the competition gets tougher and tougher. As the head coach, it’s important to be able to take a loss at face value and bring that back to the team in a way that simply builds them up for the future.

At the close of the first year as the Lacombe Generals, Austring said he’s been thrilled to see the support in the community through the season. Looking forward to next year, he said the momentum will only build as they continue to build up their ‘Army’.

He said the players themselves are each dedicated to the cause of securing the Allan Cup, and he’s excited to see the opportunity come back next year.

“The beauty of this hockey, too, is that it’s not professional, so it really comes down to personal motivation. These guys show up and the rink and compete because they want to they’re not getting paid to do anything. It all comes down to your personal conviction.”

The Gens will hang up their skates, for now, and look forward to a comeback next year in Rosetown, Saskatchewan during the 2018 Allan Cup Championship.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

Lacombe Generals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

Dean Olsen Missing Poster
Blackfalds RCMP seek public assistance to locate missing male

Dean Olsen was last seen on Jan. 20 in Red Deer County

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
669 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 21 additional deaths

COVID-19 test positivity rate down to 4.5 per cent

Kyla Gibson with her boyfriend Gavin Hardy. (Photo used with permission)
Sylvan Lake couple lose ‘fur babies’ to house fire

‘They were our world and nothing will ever replace them,’ Kyla Gibson said of her three pets

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Calgary flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

(Photo submitted)
Community Futures brings back Social Media Challenge for 2021

This time the challenge is for non-profits and community groups

Lucas Berg, left, with the backpacks filled with essential items he donated to the Red Deer Mustard Seed Jan. 19, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Central Alberta teenager donates filled 20 backpacks to Red Deer Mustard Seed

Lucas Berg, 14, of Ponoka County says he ‘just wants to help people’

A conveyor belt transports coal at the Westmoreland Coal Co.’s Sheerness mine near Hanna, Alta., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Coal mining impacts are already occurring in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains even as debate intensifies over the industry’s presence in one of the province’s most beloved landscapes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
As Alberta debates coal mining, industry already affecting once-protected Rockies

UCP revoked a policy that had protected eastern slopes of the Rockies from open-pit coal mining since 1976

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb. TC Energy Corp. is planning to eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs related to its decision to halt work on its Keystone XL pipeline expansion project. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
TC Energy cutting more than 1,000 Keystone XL construction jobs as Biden pulls permit

Some 200 kilometres of pipe have already been installed for the expansion

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Most Read