It's difficult to put too much weight into two pre-season wins, but one thing is for certain; many newcomers are keen to make the lineup for the Cochrane Generals Jr. 'B' team.
The weekend saw the Gens win a home-and-home series against the Mountain View Colts. On the road, Sept. 8, they came away with a 5-4 overtime win on a goal by veteran Brandon Aabs.
Home at the Cochrane arena on Sept. 9, they won 5-1, despite being outshot 44-32.
Head coach Travis McMillan says the lineups were heavy on rookies to see how they could potentially fit into the Gens lineup. With about 35 players in camp, the hunt is on to find the right chemistry.
“I only had four vets in the lineup Saturday night because I wanted to get the rookies in there and see what they can do in a game situation.”
“Saturday was a little bit of grid. Obviously, we expected that from Mountain View, just from our experience last year. But the guys pulled it together and we had a five-minute overtime and we managed to pull out the win at the one-minute mark, so I’m happy about that.”
In Sunday’s game, their first in their new home at the Cochrane Arena, a few more veterans were in the lineup and it provided a chance to take a second look at some of the new blood.
“The power play and penalty play were working which was fantastic to see. The guys were getting into the groove of things.”
“Everyone responded quite well after the first period. It was a rough start but the last 40 minutes were pretty well done so I was glad to see that.”
McMillan says there’s a ton of effort being made by those seeking roster spots and he’s hoping that work ethic can extend into the regular season.
“If what the kids are producing right now can be caught in a bottle and controlled and brought into the season for 36-38 games, then I’m doing my job.”
The Gens are in Airdrie on Friday night, Sept. 14 to face the Airdrie Techmation Thunder then return home the following day for their final preseason game.
The puck drops at the Cochrane Arena on Sept. 15 at 5 p.m.
The regular season opens at home on Sept. 29 against the Mountain View Colts.