The Lacombe Generals split the first two games of their Senior AAA Provincial Final Series against the Stony Plain Eagles.
Lacombe won their first game at home and then lost in overtime the following night in Stony Plain.
“It is what we expected going in and it was what we prepared for,” Generals Coach Sean Robertson said.
“I thought Game 1 went our way. We were focused the whole time. In Game 2, we played a pretty good game for about 57 minutes.”
Four different players scored for Lacombe to take Game 1 4-2, but they were unable to hold on in Game 2 after Richard Kelly ripped one past Generals goalie Steven Stanford.
“We have to stick with what we do best,” Robertson said.
“We can’t get caught up in someone else’s game. We have to play our game and that is how we will be successful.
“This time of year, it is not about Xs and Os — it is about will and want.”
The Generals now return home for Game 3 on Friday, where they will look to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
“It is about the preparation you do before throughout the week. You have to prepare yourself for a war and you have to prepare yourself to play the right way for as long as it takes,” Robertson said.
Stanford has been playing well for the Generals, but Robertson may make a change to ensure both netminders are in peak condition.
“Jake (Jacob Deserres) is back and he is healthy,” he said. “He will probably get into at least one. I think you need to have two goaltenders going down the stretch. You can’t just rely on one guy.
“They are the easiest goalies to deal with. They are team guys in every sense of the word. They support each other and push each other. It is a real pleasure to work with them,” Robertson said.
On the other side, Lacombe has to figure out how to get pucks past Eagles Tyler Bunz and Davis Jones.
“If they can see the shot, they are going to stop it. We have to get guys going to the net. It’s cliche but at this time of year, it is how you win hockey games,” Robertson said.
Game 3 will be at the Gary Moe Sportsplex at 8 p.m. on Friday.
Robertson is hoping the strong home advantage continues.
“It has been unreal,” he said. “It is a pleasure to go to the rink for our home games and our players feed off it.
“I think we are getting a lot of new fans out that are figuring out it is a pretty good brand of hockey and entertainment. They are getting behind us.”