Stoney Creek 6 Rosetown 3
A day off proved to be a valuable commodity at the 2019 Allan Cup.
The defending champion Stoney Creek Generals earned the extra rest with a strong 6-3 win over the Rosetown Red Wings Wednesday.
With the win, the Generals earned first in the group and a bye to the semifinal.
Stoney Creek knows all too well how valuable the day off can be, as no team in the last quarter century has played five straight games and won the Senior AAA national title.
“It’s huge, if we didn’t (win) we’d have to go five-in-five to win. Really important in this tournament. Last year we had to go four-in-four and it was not easy. For sure nice to get a day of rest,” said Rob Hisey, who had a goal and two assists in the victory.
“Guys were pretty sore it was pretty important to get the day off, refresh and regroup and get ready for Friday.”
Wednesday’s tilt was close until the final five minutes when Rosetown captain Jordan Johnston buried to get his side within a goal.
On a two-on-one with 2:57 to go, Hisey ripped a shot high blocker to restore a two-goal lead and essentially sink the Red Wings.
“I thought our second period was good. They took the game back in the third but we were fortunate to get a lucky bounce for an odd-man there and we were up by two again, then we iced it,” said Hisey.
Rosetown will end up second in their group and play in the quarter-final crossover on Thursday afternoon.
“Kinda the game we were expecting. We know they’re really skilled so if we make some mistakes, which we did, their team is going to capitalize and they did,” said Johnston, who had two goals and a helper in the loss.
“The good thing is we are right there. Just make a few less mistakes and that game could have easily gone the other way.”
The power play was key in the opening frame, with three of the first five goals coming on the man advantage.
Off the rush, Johnston hit Justin Fox for the first goal of the game 67 seconds in. With their second shot of the contest also on the power play, Generals’ Jarrett Konkle buried low blocker on Red Wings goalie Brody Hoffman.
Johnston earned his second point of the game when he ripped a point shot home on the power play, but the Generals again responded just 61 seconds later. Erick Lizon had the tally for Stoney Creek. They pulled ahead off the rush with only 17 seconds left in the period on a nice feed from Hisey to Nathan Pageau.
“They’re probably the most skilled team in the tournament and we know that, so we don’t really want to go chance-for-chance with them. We’d like to play our game and I think we did that as well as can be expected against a good team like that,” added Johnston.
Midway through the second, the Generals started to pull away, at one point more than doubling Rosetown on the shot clock.
Martin Lee pushed Stoney Creek ahead 4-2 at 11:17 of the period and they were dominant until late in the third when the Red Wings climbed within a goal.
Ryan DeMelo finished the night with 27 saves and Brody Hoffman stopped 25 for Rosetown.
In the final round robin game, the Haut-Madawaska Panthers knocked off the South East Prairie Thunder 4-1.
With the win by the Panthers, the Lacombe Generals won their group and got a bye into the semifinal Friday night.