The Lacombe Generals (2-0-0-1) were itching to gain ground in the Allan Cup Hockey West standings, meaning they would have to get past their QEII rivals — the Innisfail Eagles (2-2-0-0).
Once again rolling with a short bench, the Generals would need to rely on their veterans to get their team off to a strong start. Lacombe’s leading scoring Jesse Todd would do just that in the first period, opening the scoring five minutes in with a wrister that beat the Eagle goaltender Chris Holden glove-side. Todd would follow that up by out-skating an Innisfail hold and then making a difficult pass to Steven Phee for Lacombe’s second goal of the game.
The Generals would head into the second frame looking to add to their 2-0 lead.
The second period, however, would be controlled by the Eagles — with the Generals spending much of the frame in the box. Tom Mikrut would eventually pull through and score on a two on one breakaway, putting Innisfail down one.
The Eagles would continue to apply pressure, but the Generals held on and managed to skate in the locker room still with a 2-1 lead — despite looking tired due to their short bench.
“We kept them in the game. They went off our mistakes,” Generals Forward Landon Oslanski said.
The Eagles would continue their momentum in the third, eventually tying the game on a goal by Ty Clay. The goal would be the only of the period, meaning these fierce rivals would head to overtime.
“Guys definitely got tired,” Stanford said. “We will have some more guys next week.”
The first five minutes of four-on-four and three minutes of three on three still saw the score even, meaning it would take a shootout to decide this one.
Lacombe’s Tanner Korchinski would have the first shot at Holden in the first round, but would find iron. Stanford would follow that up by kicking aside a Joel Stepp shot.
In the second round, Kyle Stroh shot into Holden’s glove for the Generals and Shawn Bates shot over the net for the Eagles.
Finally, Oslanski would beat Holden on a fake shot, followed by a toe-drag into the open net. Innisfail would have one last shot, but would find the post — meaning the Generals would take the two points in this one.
“It was a move I usually do and it worked out,” Oslanski said.
Stanford thought the game was a solid win for his team.
“We were short players and worked really hard,” he said. “Innisfail is a good team. They wont quit and it is always a good game against them.”
Lacombe’s next game will be on Nov. 2nd against the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.
“Any win is big and we are trying get every one we can,” Stanford added.