Hot Start to Second Half for Generals

Jan. 09, 2019

Needing to string some wins together to have a shot at the playoffs, that's exactly what the Moose Jaw Generals did this weekend, winning twice in Northern Saskatchewan to open the second half.

"We're really happy," said Generals head coach Ray Wareham. "The kids when they came back from the break, they were ready to go again and we all know that we're better than the first half indicated, so they came out and had two of their best games of the year at the right time and it puts us right back in the thick of things."

The Generals scored four times in the third period to upset the fifth place Prince Albert Mintos, 5-2, at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday. 

Moose Jaw followed up that win with another 5-2 victory over the Beardy's Blackhawks on Sunday. That win was key as the Blackhawks hold down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, five points clear of the ninth-place Generals.

"We just stuck with the process, in the first half of the season, if we got scored on or it was a tight game we seemed to tighten up and not get the job done, but it was the reverse this weekend, the guys stayed with it and kept working," said Wareham.

Wareham added that the two games were two of the most complete efforts the Generals have had this season.

"I thought we were really, really good on Saturday, we didn't really give PA much and to outshoot them like we did in their rink and to hold them to 20 shots is pretty good," said Wareham.

"In Beardy's on Sunday, I thought we lost our composure in the second period, but rebounded with a real good third period so really good job by the guys."

Evan Sare led the Generals with three assists on Saturday, while Steven Kesslering scored twice in the win. Jeron Kletzel, Cody Davis and Owen Slugoski also scored for Moose Jaw against the Mintos.

On Sunday, leading-scorer Casey McDonald paced the attack with a goal and four points, while Davis had two goals and three points. Sare added a goal and two points, and Kesslering added another goal.

Jaxson Taupert was in goal for both games, he made 19 saves in Saturday's win and then turned away 30 shots during Sunday's win.

With two wins under their belt to open the second half, the key will be keep the momentum rolling and Wareham said that will be the focus this week.

"We know it's going to be a tough road to get into the playoffs, teams have games in hand on us and we can only control what we do ourselves, so we've just got make sure that we keep playing consistent hockey," he said. "All the guys really bought in this weekend."

The Generals are off until Sunday when they will host the Regina Pat Canadians at Mosaic Place. Puck drops at 1:30 p.m.


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