Generals 6 Panthers 2
The Lacombe Generals needed only a period to bury the Haut-Madawaska Panthers.
After a loss to open the 2019 Allan Cup on home ice, the Generals were better from puck drop in Game 2 Tuesday.
They notched four goals in the first period in front of a packed house at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex and cruised to a 6-2 win.
“It was a full 60 minutes. We improved on (Monday). We played well, just one of those games where you run into a hot goalie. (Tuesday) we really beared down and buried our chances when we had them. That’s a positive for us and we move forward from here,” said Generals forward Kyle Stroh, who had two goals in the victory.
With the win, the Generals have a shot at winning their division and getting a bye into the semifinal on Friday. That depends on the outcome between the Panthers and the South East Prairie Thunder on Wednesday.
If the Prairie Thunder win, they clinch the division. More likely, the Generals finish second in the group with a 1-1 record and get a date with the rival Innisfail Eagles, who were 0-2 in round robin.
“From now on, I don’t think it really matters who our opponent is,” added Stroh.
“Worry about what we can do and what we can control. Our opponent is whoever it is going to be. We just have to be prepared and play our game. Win our battles, play simple and play hard and let the chips fall where they may.”
In the win over Haut-Madawaska, Billy Marshall opened the scoring before Kyle Stroh buried just 22 seconds later. Stroh tapped in his second of the period on the power play after back-to-back penalties from the Panthers. Late in the frame, Travis Granbois added the fourth Generals’ goal to break the game wide open.
“Crowds always give you that little push. We know what we need to do, we just capitalize on our chances and the rest will take care of itself,” Stroh said.
“Confidence is key in any sport. Once you have that, you have a little more confidence and poise with the puck. Make plays and open up some space for your teammates.”
Some penalty trouble for the Generals in the second allowed the Panthers to get some momentum, but Steven Stanford was equal to the task and turned away 15 shots in the frame.
Cody Cartier tapped in the Generals fifth of the night on a nice feed from Jesse Todd, before the Panthers scored with 41 seconds left in the period.
In the third, Matt Brown added a goal for the Generals on a great individual effort and Justin Bowes notched a tally for the Panthers.
Stanford finished with 33 saves in the Generals net while Adrien Lemay stopped 42 for Haut-Madawaska.
Lacombe has the day off Wednesday.
In the 4 p.m. game Wednesday, Stoney Creek plays Rosetown and at 8 p.m. the Panthers take on the South East Prairie Thunder.