A powerful performance by the Ontario champions has afforded them a day off plus a bye into the semi-finals.
The Stoney Creek Generals secured first place in their pool with a 6-3 victory over the Rosetown Redwings Wednesday night on the final day of round robin action at the 2019 Allan Cup in Lacombe.
For the Generals, a victory was huge as it means not having to play Thursday and wind up needing to play and win five games in as many days to capture the championship.
“This win was huge for us, last year we had to go four wins in four days and it certainly wasn’t easy,” said Generals forward Rob Hisey who had a goal and two assists on the night.
“It sure will be nice to have the rest before the playoffs.”
That day off has also been a big factor in which team has walked away with the title, as no team that has played five games in a row has not captured the Allan Cup.
As for the game, Hisey said the team struggled a bit in the middle frame.
“Rosetown played really well in the second period, but we took the game back early on in the third,” he said.
“A lucky bounce got us back on top and that certainly helped.”
Both teams powerplays were working early with Rosetown opening the scoring with the extra man just over a minute in with a tap in right in front by Justin Fox.
Stoney Creek’s Jarret Konkle followed that up almost two minutes later with a powerplay goal courtesy a great feed from Christopher Campoli.
Jordan Johnston of the Redwings scored with 8:32 gone in the first, again on a powerplay, to retake the lead, only to watch the Generals’ Erick Lizon put away a nice pass from Scott Hotham a minute later.
Nathan Pageau would send Stoney Creek to the first intermission with the lead after converting on a two-on-one with Hisey with only 17 seconds remaining.
Despite Rosetown taking the majority of the play to Stoney Creek in the second, it was the Generals’ Martin Lee scoring the only goal of the middle stanza with slightly than nine minutes to go.
Johnston gave Rosetown some life, cutting the lead to 4-3, with 5:33 left in the third.
However, Hisey’s quick wrist shot from the slot on a another two-on-one found the top corner over the left shoulder of Rosetown netminder Brody Hoffman sealed the game. An empty net goal by Chris Hulit finalized the deal.
“We had a big two week layoff between now and the end of our season, so yesterday was hard for us,” Hisey stated.
“And although some of our guys are really sore now, we are all going to be ready to go for Friday.”
He added that having a group that has had experience at a high level really helps in a short tournament such as this.
Tough flight ahead
On the other bench, the Redwings expected their opponent to be hard to play, but that they didn’t play to their strengths.
“They are a very skilled club and they capitalized on our mistakes,” said Johnston, who was in on all three Rosetown goals in the loss.
“It’s an easy fix for us. We are team that does not give up. A bounce the other way and this game could have been different.”
He added that Stoney Creek is probably the most skilled team at the Allan Cup and that going chance for chance with them — instead of playing their own game really showed.
“We want to play our own game from here on and yeah, it is going to be tough having to play and win five games in a row,” Johnston explained.
While Stoney Creek enjoys some rest and waits for Friday’s semi-final, Rosetown will get ready for a quarter final match up on Thursday against the third place team from the other pool. The result of the late game Wednesday between the Manitoba and Atlantic representatives will determine which one will wind up in that spot.