The Lacombe Generals were eager to get back on the ice against the Innisfail Eagles on the road after they unexpectedly had a bye week due to the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs leaving the league the previous week.
The Generals were looking to make another statement against their Central Alberta rival after the Generals notched a 3-2 shootout victory on October 27th on home ice.
The Eagles, however, would come out flying — scoring the first after Shawn Bates found the top shelf unassisted.
The Generals would not wilt under the pressure immediately finding the net after Jesse Todd stole a clear attempt and undressed the goaltender with a slick move, tying the game at once. Lacombe would continue to apply pressure despite needing to kill two penalties. Eventually, the pressure lead to their own powerplay goal by Levi Nelson leading to a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
Both teams would have plenty of scoring in the second period but it was Innisfail goaltender Danyon Lorencz who made this one a game — robbing the Generals on several occasions to keep the game just 4-3 for Lacombe at the end of the period.
Todd would score again for the Generals along with one that ringed off the post and in by Billy Marshall, but two goals by Eagle Dallas Desjarlais would keep things close heading into the final frame .
The Generals would make a statement early in the third when Eric Galbraith zipped down the right wing and beat Lorencz just 10 seconds into the period. They would follow that up when Todd finished off the hat trick to put them up 6-3 — seemingly out of reach for the Eagles.
The Eagles would make it a game though after Joe Vandermeer slammed home a point shot past Jake Deserres. Things would get really dicey for the Generals after Eagle Colton Hayes scored with just 52 second remaining.
Todd said they want to clean their defensive game up.
“We want to get down to those 2-1, 3-1 games — not 6-5. When you get to the Allan Cup, you win those games 2-1. That is how close they are and they go right down to the end,” he said.
The Army would, however, hang out to win the game 6-5.
“It was one of those up and down games when you get up 4-1 and they crawl back. They always seem to do that against us. They lull you to sleep and then boom they score two and it’s 4-3,” Todd said. “We regrouped.”
The game was chippy throughout, with the Eagles looking to get under the Generals’ skin.
“We learned to let them talk and run around. We try to stay out of it as much as we can because they feed off that stuff and it gets them going. You saw that tonight,” Todd said
The 5-0-0-1 Generals will play again next Saturday on home ice at 7:30 p.m. against the 6-1-0-0 Rosetown Red Wings.
“We are finally getting guys coming back and work schedules are starting to work out. They are able to be here and I am sure we will get a couple more for the run,” Todd said.