Generals takes opener

Even when they’re not at their best the Bentley Generals are good enough to beat most teams.

Array

Array

Generals 4 Chiefs 0

Even when they’re not at their best the Bentley Generals are good enough to beat most teams.

That was the case Saturday when the Generals were a bit off their game, but good enough to down the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs 4-0 in the opening game of the best-of-seven Alberta Senior AAA Hockey final at the Arena.

“Lot of guys weren’t very good tonight . . . they were dead between the ears,” said Generals head coach Brian Sutter. “But our goaltender was very good and our foot soldiers were good. Some guys competed like son-of-a-guns while others were passengers, mainly some of our best players. They weren’t as good as they need to be.”

Generals netminder Scott Galenza finished with 27 saves for the shutout while his mates had 33 shots on Dave Tetrault in the Chiefs net.

The Generals finished with a pair of power play goals, the second with a two-man advantage.

Even then the Bentley power play could have been better, according to Sutter.

“That’s were some of our top guys need to step up,” he said. “But we were successful when guys like (Bradon) Appleby, (Brandin) Cote and Kurt Bensmiller stood in front of the net and screened the goalie.”

Both Appleby, at 6:09 of the second period, and Cote, at 18:03 of the third, were credited with power play markers.

Sean Robertson scored what proved to be the winning goal at 3:18 of the first period while Don Morrison connected three minutes into the second.

“Sean’s first goal was nice as he went down the wing and beat their goalie while the rest of the goals were technically on the power play,” said Sutter, whose squad has been off close to two weeks, which was too long.

“It was too long, but you know strong minds make strong players. We wanted to do the right things tonight, but weren’t near good enough to win this series. However, we were good enough to win the game and it’s a big one.”

Overall the Generals appeared to have more speed than the Chiefs.

“We have a lot of speed, which we didn’t show tonight. In fact we didn’t do a lot of things we talked about before the game. But I’ll take it. It’s nice to win when you know you can be better.”

And Sutter expects the Chiefs to be better as well.

“They have a lot of skill.”

The second game is set for tonight at 7 p.m. in Fort Saskatchewan with the third Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. at the Arena. The fourth game is Friday in Fort Saskatchewan with the fifth, if necessary, March 23 at 8:15 p.m. at the Arena.

The Chiefs took 10 of 17 minor penalties and the lone misconduct.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com