Bentley Generals in control at McKenzie Cup
Generals 5 Regals 1
The Bentley Generals are one win removed from advancing to the Allan Cup tournament.
The defending senior AAA hockey champion Generals posted a systematic 5-1 win over the Powell River Regals Friday at the Red Deer Arena to grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five Alberta/B.C. McKenzie Cup series. The third and possibly final game is set for today at 3 p.m.
As was the case in Thursday’s series opener, a 5-0 Bentley victory, the Generals dominated to a greater degree as the game wore on.
“I’m real happy with the full effort. If we keep working like that and keep the ice titled the law of averages is going to be in our favour,” said Bentley head coach Ryan Tobler, whose club pulled away with three unanswered third-period goals.
“We just stuck with it, didn’t try to change anything and we got rewarded for our hard work.”
The Generals opened the scoring when defenceman Scott Kalinchuk, from above the circle, blew a rising bullet past Regals netminder Cory McEachran 11:58 into the first period.
The Regals answered back three minutes later with their first goal of the series. With Generals forward Scott Doucet off for tripping, Scott May beat Bentley goaltender Travis Yonkman with a one-timer off a cross-ice pass from Andrew Derton.
But that was it for the B.C. representatives. Curtis Austring potted the eventual winner at 2:49 of the second period and the Generals pulled away in the final frame while outshooting their guests 17-5.
Craig Weller converted a pass from Chris Neiszner at 8:33 of the third, Garrett Watson connected just over a minute later and Sean Robertson notched a power-play goal at 17:22.
McEachran turned aside 35 shots while Yonkman made 16 saves.
If a fourth game is required, it will be played Sunday at 7:30 p.m. A fifth game, if needed, will go 24 hours later.
The Generals, of course, don’t plan on letting the Regals extend the series.
“We know what’s at stake here one more win for what we’ve played for all year,” said Tobler, referring to a berth in the six-team Allan Cup championship April 14-19 at Dundas, Ont.
“I know we’re going to have a spirited effort again tomorrow and hopefully we can take care of business.”