It was the Cochrane General’s first win of the season but it wasn’t the performance head coach Travis McMillan was seeking.
The Gens beat the struggling Stettler Lighting, 6-4 on Oct. 6 in front of a sparse Thanksgiving Weekend crowd. They took a 4-0 lead into the second before the Lightning bounced back with two goals to close the gap. The Cugnet brothers, Zach and Carter, teamed up to close out the period on a high note for the Gens.
Early in the third, Braden Bain scored his second the night, fourth of the season, to give the Gens a 6-2 gap, but the Lightning didn’t surrender and scored two.
The reaction of Gens goalie Knute Loe to the Lightning’s fourth goal saw him ejected from the game. That followed a second-period game misconduct to Scott Shugg for checking from behind
Scoring for the Gens were Brandon Aab, Braden Bain (2), Scott Shugg, Caylin Wildman (second of the season) and Zach Cugnet. Jordan Fisher had two assists on the night and River Ross, Vance Wesley and Carter Cugnet were all credited with helpers.
McMillan said it was a win but he was clearly disappointed in the team’s play.
“Discipline seems to have been a little bit of an issue for the last couple of games, so we need to get on top of that quickly otherwise we’ll be in serious trouble 15 games into the game,” says McMillan.
“I don’t want to put a damper on getting a win, but I feel we have a better team than that. I think the guys need to understand there needs to be a specific ability to show some class and to work and ignore the small stuff. We need to check ourselves at the door and need to come with our lunch pail every game that we play.”
The Gens racked up 36 minutes in penalties, compared to six minutes by the Lightning, and it stifled the Gens play.
“If we continue to have a parade to the penalty box we’re just going to hurt ourselves at the end of the day. The guys need to ignore all that kind of stuff and be smart about what we’re doing on the ice for 60 minutes.”
He’s expecting a tough game today against the Coaldale Copperheads later this afternoon.
“They’re going to be a hard team to beat, especially going down to their barn. It gets packed every home game that they have. They’re a fast hockey team and have a lot of skills guys coming back from last year and we need to make sure we do all the small things right and play the team, compared to individuals.”
Stettler falls to 4-1 on the season with their lone victory coming against the Medicine Hat Cubs.