The Moose Jaw Generals just can’t seem to catch a break.
Whether it’s their own doing or their opponents, wins have proven to be exceptionally elusive for the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League squad, with this past weekend offering a pair of examples.
On Saturday, the Generals found themselves in a back-and-forth shootout with the Battlefords Stars before falling 7-5 after an empty net goal. Sunday, it was a far closer game, one the Generals led early and controlled for the most part before falling 5-2.
As a result, they find themselves with a 5-12-3-0 record, six points back of Battlefords for the eighth and final playoff spot.
“Saturday was not good, it wasn’t pretty and we paid the price for not being willing to work,” said Generals coach Ray Wareham. “Then, that being said, Sunday we responded with a really good effort and the guys deserved a better fate. Unfortunately they didn’t get it, but they should have been proud of their effort. But Saturday was definitely disappointing.”
Saturday’s contest saw Battlefords take a 2-0 lead early in the contest, only to have Nolan Jones and Jake Palmer score midway through the frame to tie things up. The Stars again went two goals up early in the second and again the Generals responded, with Jones scoring his second and Jaxsen Wiebe tying the game on the power play midway through the period.
The two teams exchanged goals in the third before the Stars scored with 4:13 remaining to take the lead and added an empty netter with seven seconds remaining on the clock.
Casey McDonald had the Generals’ final goal.
Ethan Hein, whose Western Hockey League playing rights were traded from the Swift Current Broncos to the Calgary Hitmen in a blockbuster nine-player deal, made 30 saves in the loss.
On Sunday it was more of the same, only this time the Generals were in control much of the way through. After the Stars took the lead early Evan Sare scored at the 9:05 mark of the first to tie the game. Jaxsen Georget gave Moose Jaw a 2-1 lead 17 seconds into the second, but the lead wouldn’t hold as Battlefords scored twice the rest of the way to go ahead 3-2.
The Stars added two more goals in the third, including and empty netter with 15 seconds remaining to close out the game.
Jake Davidson turned aside 29 shots in the loss.
“(Saturday) we lost our work ethic and it was real sloppy by both teams,” Wareham said. “It was just a matter of who shot the puck last kind of things. But we had had a good chat after Saturday’s game and they responded with a really good effort. The last three games, they probably deserved to win two of them and we got one point. So when it piles on, it piles on.
“But like I said to the guys Sunday, the only way we’re going to get out of this is if we’re all pulling the same string together and with the young team that we have, it’s things that you learn and grow from…. We’re far better now than we were two weeks ago, but we’re headed in the right direction. We’re just not getting the results.”
The Generals are back in action Saturday when they travel to Saskatoon to face the Blazers and Sunday in Wilcox against the Notre Dame Hounds.Generals lose two close ones to Stars