- Created: 30 October 2006
The Eugene Generals (9-6) fell twice in overtime this weekend to the NOR PAC Pacific Division first place Fort Vancouver Pioneers (12-2). The Pioneers defeated the Generals 6-5 in double overtime on Saturday, and crushed the Generals hopes of avenging that loss when they put the Generals away 5-4 in overtime on Sunday. The Generals battled hard both nights, but Fort Vancouver was able to walk away from the weekend with four points.
“Overtime losses are especially hard to take,” Generals Head Coach Chris Hartly stated after Sunday’s overtime loss. “One overtime loss, especially like the one yesterday, can be mentally draining, but two in the same weekend is a hard pill to swallow. It’s still early in the season, however, and I hope we can learn from our mistakes and benefit from these losses a little further down the road. We know we have what it takes to win; its just a matter of getting a little more effort and a little luck every now and then.”
The star performer for the Generals this weekend was Michael Frei. Frei had a hat trick and an assist on Saturday, and backed that up with two goals and an assist on Sunday. Frei, who had yet to have a multiple goal game this season, now leads the Generals with 13 goals. Frei also is tied for the Generals lead in assists with 19, and is fifth in the league in points for the season.
Brian Canter and Sam Braniff led the Pioneers, each putting up four points for Fort Vancouver this weekend. Braniff assisted the newly acquired Michael Zenzola on Sunday for the overtime winner, and Zenzola’s first goal of his short Pioneer career. Jaroslav Stuchlik, the Zlin, Czech Republic native, scored the double overtime winner on Saturday for the Pioneers.
Both games came right down to the wire in regulation, and both games were tied up with less than 20 seconds to go in the game. On Saturday night the game was knotted at four goals a piece with 10 seconds to go when the Generals Ben Tikka blasted a slap shot from the blue line that got by a screened Dominic Petti. The Generals looked as if they had won the game, but 10 seconds was more than enough time for the Pioneers. In a highly controversial play the Pioneers pulled their goalie when they were serving a penalty, and appeared to have too many men on the ice. They also appeared to ice the puck, but no call was made. Pioneers forward Brian Canter pulled the puck off Generals defenseman Carrick Cristiano’s stick and shot it past Nick Maynes with .6 seconds left in regulation. The Generals captains and coaches argued the play, but the referee allowed the goal and the rest is history.
On Sunday night things were just as exciting, but much less controversial. The Pioneers never trialed in the game, and appeared to have the game in the bag. They led 4-2 with 12 minutes to play when Troy Mytinger, in his second game back with the Generals after a stint with the Kootenai International League’s Revelstoke Grizzlies, scored to make it a one goal game. The Generals couldn’t seem to even the game up, but, in true Generals vs. Fort Vancouver fashion, Michael Frei scored an extra attacker goal with 18 seconds left in regulation. The Generals couldn’t put the game away in overtime, however, and fell for the second time in as many nights to the Pioneers.
The Generals schedule won’t get any easier, as the NOR PAC Pacific Division second place Seattle Totems will travel to Eugene for games next Friday and Saturday at 7:35 at Lane Events Center-Ice. The Totems defeated the Generals 7-2 in their last meeting, and are currently 1-1 in the season series. Both games will be broadcast on GiTV. For more information on upcoming games or GiTV please visit www.eugenegenerals.com.
For more information:
Chris Bilder, Public Relations/Marketing, Eugene Generals