Two first period goals were too much to overcome for the Moose Jaw Generals on Thursday night as they lost 4-2 to the Swift Current Legionnaires at Mosaic Place.
Hunter Lamb scored for the Legionnaires only 17 seconds into the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League contest. Jerzy Orchard followed it up 10:03 into the opening frame to give Swift Current early control of the game.
“That early goal also seems to be a deflater for us, but I thought the kids fought back pretty hard, we had a really good second period, a good push back, but in typical General fashion, we can’t get the goal that we need, give up the next one and we’re chasing again,” said Generals coach Kevin Moore.
The Generals had a good push over the back half of the first period and looked to be starting to tilt the momentum in their favour. However, Lamb scored only 44 seconds into the second to make it a 3-0 lead.
Moose Jaw controlled the play for the rest of the second, out-shooting Swift Current, 16-7, in the frame. They would finally get on the board when Casey McDonald finished on a nice pass from Cody Davis with 8:23 gone in the period to make it 3-1 after two.
The Generals couldn’t narrow the gap however in the third and Ty Muench put the game out of reach for Moose Jaw with 4:18 to go. Generals captain Nolan Jones scored a power play goal with 11 seconds left in the game.
Moore said the Generals needed a goal early in the second period to get going, but it was the Legionnaires that scored to make the mountain too high to climb.
“Hockey is a funny game and ride the waves, but it’s a confidence thing for the kids, when you’re struggling already and you see something like that happen, then you start thinking negative thoughts instead of positive,” he said.
Evan Sare finished with two assists in the loss, while Jake Davidson made 24 saves in goal. Moose Jaw actually out-shot Swift Current, 31-28, with Legionnaires goalie Cody Levesque making some key saves throughout the game.
The Generals were 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
The loss drops Moose Jaw’s record to 6-20-2-3 on the year. Despite their struggles throughout the season, the Generals remain in the playoff hunt, sitting seven points back with 13 games to go.
“We’re only two or three wins from being right in the thick of things, but we’re down to 13 games left in the season, so we need wins,” said Moore.
The Generals will travel to Prince Albert on Saturday and then Beardy’s on Sunday.
Long-time Generals’ fan passes away… The Generals lost a big supporter in the stands a few weeks ago as head coach Ray Wareham’s father, Merv Wareham died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 84 after a battle with cancer. A funeral service is being held this Saturday, 1:30 p.m, at the Sunningdale Community Church.