The Lacombe Generals are facing some early-season adversity after dropping their second game in row to the Stony Plain Eagles 4-3
The Generals were looking to right the ship against after dropping their game to the Rosetown Red Wings 5-4 the previous week, but a third period Eagle goal by Matt Stefanishion killed a comeback attempt after general Ian Barteaux tied the game 3-3 earlier in the frame.
“We didn’t play well enough to win,” Generals head Coach Sean Robertson said. “We had a couple break downs and then it was in our net again. We pushed and pushed, had some chances but when you are playing catch up and chasing the game — you don’t always get that tying goal.”
Robertson said his team is struggling to keep a consistent effort in their last two games, something he hopes they can correct on Dec. 1st at 8:30 p.m. against the Innisfail Eagles.
“We were up in both games and took our foot off the pedal. It is too hard to regroup in a 60 minute game when things aren’t going well.
“It has to be a 60 minute effort — even if you have a 57, 58 minute game, you won’t win the majority of your hockey games.”
Robertson is hoping to get over some complacency that might stem from the Generals already having an automatic berth to the Allan Cup.
“Everyone on our team knows we have the automatic berth and we are playing like it right now,” he said.
Robertson is confident that the Generals will fix their leaks, with three crucial games on the road — one against Innisfail and two n Saskatchewan against Rosetown.
“Whether at home or on the road, we know every team in this league,” Robertson said. “We know all the buildings and there is only four teams, so we know what we are up again.
“Saturday’s tilt is going to be huge for us to get back on track.”
Overcoming Innisfail will mean overcoming a veteran Brian Sutter-coached Eagle team that likes to try to get under their opponents skin.
“We have to play like men and we don’t need to worry about getting the last word. We have to show it on the ice,” he said.
One positive of their current two game skid is that Kyle Stroh has really found a rhythm with three goals in two games, something that could pay huge dividends later in the season.
“It is starting to come for him,” Robertson said. “We knew it was going to take time, but he is a dynamic player and is finding his spots on the ice.
“To his credit, he has been playing every other shift for the better part of six games. We rely a lot on him and I am glad things are starting to come for him.”
The Generals play in Innisfail Saturday at 8:30 p.m.