The Lacombe Generals are breathing a sigh of relief after ending a three-game losing streak — a losing streak that was a rarity for team used to excelling every year on route to the Allan Cup Finals.
Coach Sean Robertson said his team gave a complete buy-in their 4-1 and 6-5 wins over the Rosetown Red Wings.
“The first game we only had 13 skaters and then we had two come in for Sunday — so we had 15 skaters on Sunday,” he said. “Very impressing considering we have come from the last three games.
“I feel like we got playing the right way again in terms of our structure and we were a little stingier.”
In the first game on Friday, Dec. 7th, the Generals went down a goal in the first period but a three unanswered goal stretch in the second by Kyle Stroh, Doug Jessey and Keenan Desmet put Lacombe up for good. Dylan Nowakowski added an insurance goal in the 3rd to round out the scoring.
Robertson said he noticed more focus from his squad.
“After you lose three games in a row, which in this organization doesn’t happen very often, we had to figure out what we were and figure out our identity,” he said. “I had my leaders step up and they asked to the group to provide an identity.
“We are back to playing more structured with a defence-first attitude.”
The second game on Sunday, Dec. 9th was a much more torrid affair — with Rosetown roaring out to a 3-1 lead in the first period. The Generals would once again get three unanswered goals in the second to go up 4-3, but the Red Wings would answer right back with two of their own putting them up 5-4 heading into the final frame.
It would be Nowakowski and Kyle Sheen who would play hero on the night, scoring 45 seconds apart leading to the 6-5 Generals win.
The goal woul be Sheens second of the night, with Adam Huxle, Chase Norrish and Ian Barteaux adding the other Lacombe goals.
“I am proud of the guys and their buy-in top to bottom. We are as strong as our weakest link and we didn’t have one. Robertson said, adding the Generals final two games of 2018 against the Stony Plain Eagles and the Innisfail Eagles will be opportunities to continue to fix mistakes from earlier this season.
“We are looking at the first shift of the Friday night game and that is far as we are looking. We are also going to be very aware of how hard it is to win in this league and respect our opposition in every game we play,” he said. “Even being at home right now will be great. We haven’t been at home in awhile after losing our last home game.
“I feel like we have something to prove and it will be nice to have two home games going into the break with familiar faces coming in to the rink.”
Stony Plain comes into the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex on Friday at 8 p.m., followed by a Sunday matinee against Innisfail at 6 p.m.