Coming off the Christmas break and a five-game winning streak, the Lacombe Generals were looking to start off 2019 with a sizzle against the Rosetown Red Wings.
Unfortunately for the Generals, an early breakaway goal by Rosetown forward Kyle Ireland less than a minute into the game would put the Generals down early.
The goal would be indicative of a period that saw the Generals unable to generate offensive chances and they would ultimately head into the second frame down 3-0 after Brent Baltus scored two goals — one on the powerplay and one shortly after General Dylan Nowakowski stepped out of the box.
“I think we started the game well,” Generals Captain Brennan Evans said.
“For the first five or six minutes we were all over them and then we made a couple mistakes and they buried them. That is something we are preaching — the one game mentality. We can’t have those lapses and that is what bit us tonight.”
The second period would see Lacombe getting the start they were looking for after Nowakowski banged home his sixth of the season.
The Generals would spend the rest of the period dominating — out-shooting Rosetown 41-17 through two — but it would be the Red Wings who would re-establish the three goal lead after Ireland scored his second of the game, putting his team up 4-1 heading into the final frame.
“They rely a lot on their goalies and getting traffic,” Evans said.
“You try to look at the things that cost you games and tonight we had a 10-minute rough stretch. Other than that, we played pretty well.”
The Generals would make a game of it in the third period.
Levi Nelson would come out three minutes into the frame and put Lacombe down by two on his third goal of the season. Kyle Ross would follow that up with his fourth of the year, putting Lacombe down just one goal with over 12 minutes to play.
The Generals would unfortunately take four minutes off that time with penalties and a late blitz during the 6-on-5 man advantage wouldn’t be enough — leading to the final score 4-3 for Rosetown.
Red Wings Goaltender Brody Hoff stopped 59 shots for the win.
“The teams coming here for the Allan Cup are all going to have really good goalies. That is something we need to get creative with — scoring more goals. We need to eliminate the mistakes we made that gave those guys four goals,’ Evans said.
The Generals had earlier forfeited their Sunday, Jan. 13th game against Stoney Plain meaning their next game will be against the Innisfail Eagles on Jan. 23rd on home ice.