After skating to a 7-1 win over the Notre Dame Argos on Thursday, the Moose Jaw Generals were expecting a much tougher challenge in the rematch between the two teams on Saturday at Mosaic Place.
The Generals got what they expected, but were still able to come away with a win, knocking off the Argos 2-0 to improve to 3-0-0-1 on the year.
“They were going to work hard and if we weren't going to match, we weren't going to win,” said head coach Ray Wareham, “but I was really proud of our guys for the third period, it was a really gutsy effort to pull it out like that.”
The offence was the star for the Generals in Thursday's win, but their defensive play and goalie Colby Entz propelled them to the win on Saturday.
Entz turned away all 23 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season.
“Our team has been solid defence all season and Ray thrives on that, so it's been good,” said Entz.
The third-year goalie didn't look like he was ever really in danger of getting scored on during the win.
“He was real good today,” said Wareham. “He looked real confident, just where he was putting pucks and it didn't look like anybody was going to beat him. When he's playing like that, it just gives our guys even more confidence.”
Entz and Hunter Arps have both posted shutouts so far this season for the Generals, which has helped push Moose Jaw's league-best plus-11 goal differential. Moose Jaw has allowed a league-low three goals through four games.
“If we play a good team game, those two guys are going to give you a chance to win every night and they've been doing that here to start,” said Wareham.
Chantz Petruic scored a power play goal with two minutes to go in the first period and that ended up holding up for the Generals. Ahmed Ally added an insurance marker with 3:44 to go in the third period.
The game was a physical affair with both teams having three players kicked out for fighting. The Argos tried to take it to the Generals in the physical game, but Moose Jaw didn't back down.
“This group is a real tight group, they play for each as you can see by those little scrums and I don't think you would have seen that the past couple of years,” said Wareham. “We got to go together and go to war and support each other.”
Moose Jaw was 1-for-14 on the power play in the win, while they went 11-for-11 on the penalty kill.
The Generals will be back in action on Wednesday when they head to Regina to take on the Pat Canadians. They also host the Saskatoon Blazers on Saturday afternoon at Mosaic Place.