Generals 3 Red Wings 1
The Lacombe Generals have a date with destiny.
They will play in their third straight Allan Cup Final on Saturday and look to clinch their fourth title in the last 10 years.
Lacombe earned their way into the 2019 Allan Cup final Friday with a convincing 3-1 win over the Rosetown Red Wings. The 2019 Allan Cup hosts will play their Central Alberta rival Innisfail Eagles for Senior National AAA Supremacy.
“It’s almost like a storybook. At some point, we’re going to end up playing them,” said Generals captain Brennan Evans, who has been in the last two Allan Cup finals with the Generals.
“They played well throughout the tournament. They earned their way in (Saturday) night’s game and I think that will be the hardest game of the tournament for us.”
From puck drop, the Generals looked determined not to let a chance like that slip away, scoring just 1:48 into the game when Kyle Stroh buried on the power play.
“You want to establish your game rather than them establish theirs. You want to start well and you don’t really want to stick a toe in the water and see where it goes. You want to see if you can dictate the play,” said Generals head coach Sean Robertson.
On a great individual effort, Nolan Huysmans forced a turnover and deked Red Wings netminder Brody Hoffman before sliding in his first of the tournament to make it 2-0.
After getting outshot 12-3 in the first period, Rosetown showed some pushback early in the second. On a five-on-three man-advantage for almost a full two minutes before Justin Fox collected a rebound and ripped it past Tyler Weiman.
Less than two minutes after that goal, the Generals got into penalty trouble again. Doug Jessey was in the box for high sticking and Brennen Evans went in 14 seconds later for a slash. This time, they managed to kill it off and turned the tables quickly.
Not something we want to make a habit of doing, especially (Saturday). It’s the way our season went. It was a little bit ugly but we got the job done,” said Evans.
Kyle Ross broke in on an odd-man rush with four other Generals but chose to shoot and buried five-hole on Hoffman.
In the third, the Generals held the fort down Weiman finished with 27 saves in the victory.
Evans, who knows the heartbreak of losing the final, hopes that his group can finally get over the hump this year. He said keeping their wits about them in an intense affair against the Eagles will be key.
“Just play our game and not get too excited,” he said.
“Not get too wound up. Just keep an even keel throughout the whole thing. If we get into penalty trouble– playing them there might be a penalty or two. Hopefully, we can keep it to a minimum and stick to our game.”
Robertson added there is no secret formula to beating the Eagles and understands it will be a tough test if his team wants to hoist the Allan Cup for the fourth time in the last 10 years.
They work hard, their resilient and they keep coming,” said Robertson.
“It’s been that way for a long, long time since Brian (Sutter) has been there. I don’t know if we necessarily learned anything this year. They work hard and they always keep coming.”