The Allan Cup tournament has officially begun. The opening ceremonies began after the game between the Rosetown Redwings and the Innisfail Eagles where the Red Wings took the game with a score of 4-3.
Hockey fans were treated to being pumped up by bagpipes, speeches from various excited elected officials including Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey, Lacombe County Reeve, Paula Law, and MLA, Blaine Calkins. The national anthem was also performed by local country music artist, Gord Bamford
Following the opening ceremonies, the Lacombe Generals finally took the ice facing the South East Prairie Thunder of Manitoba.
Prairie Thunder took an early lead in the game scoring a goal, eight minutes into the first period. With seven minutes left in the second period, Prairie Thunder took yet another goal in a power play but the Generals were quick to steal it back scoring their first goal of the game. With five seconds left of the second period, Prairie Thunder scored another goal leaving the score at 3-1.
In the third, the Generals came back on the ice with purpose scoring a goal early in the period. Shot after shot, the Generals tried to catch up to Prairie Thunder. Despite their determination, in a defensive blunder, Prairie Thunder managed to score the final goal on a breakaway leaving the final score at 4-2.
The Generals’ goals were scored by Travis Granbois and Levi Nelson. Shots on net were an astounding 52-19 for the Generals.
Generals’ coach, Sean Robertson noted that the team has dealt with the Prairie Thunder goaltender, Steve Christie at another time as well.
“We’ve seen him before he was up to his old tricks tonight and I just told my guys they can’t hang their heads. I thought we played an excellent game. They’re an opportunistic team, they’ve been that way for a number of years, and they are a good hockey team.”
However, for Prairie Thunder, the game was exciting in that the team does not really have a long season.
“We haven’t played much together as a team. We had one short series in Manitoba to qualify. So we wanted to weather the storm, we knew they were going to come hard all game kind of thing. Maybe we gave up more than we would have liked to, so hopefully, we get better from here,” said goaltender, Steve Christie.
Robertson believes that in order to improve the Generals will have to be very short-sighted and that a good game plan will be the key to the Generals’ success.
“I felt like we played our game, they capitalized on our mistakes, and we didn’t capitalize on theirs. We didn’t make them make enough mistakes,” said Robertson.
The Generals will see the ice again on Tuesday, April 9th at 8:00 PM at the Gary Moe Autogroup Sportsplex. You can buy tickets, by clicking here, or at the door. All Allan Cup hockey games are being live streamed and can be accessed by clicking here.