- Created: 20 March 2017
Simply put, the 2016-17 season was one of the most memorable in Generals franchise history. Take a look back at some of the memorable moments and highlights from the past year.
A New Era: The United States Premier Hockey League
After spending the franchise's first eleven seasons of existence as members of the NORPAC/NPHL, the Generals made the move to join the United States Premier Hockey League, the nation's top collegiate developmental league. The Generals, along with three fellow former NPHL members - the Seattle Ravens, Tri City Outlaws, and West Sound Warriors - came to form the newly established Pacific Division of the USP3HL.
The United States Premier Hockey League, founded in 2012, is currently comprised of 51 organizations spread across the Eastern Seaboard, Midwest and Northwest regions of the United States fielding teams in the Premier, Elite, USP3HL, 18U, 16U, 16U Futures and High Performance Youth Divisions. The Premier Division is the top tier of the USPHL developmental ladder and is a USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III junior hockey league, as are the Elite and USP3 Divisions.
Generals Give Back
For more than a decade, Generals Hockey has been synonymous with giving back in an effort to support the Eugene and Springfield community. That proud tradition continued during the 2016-17 season, starting with the 12th annual Eugene Generals Breast Cancer Awareness Night, presented by the Health & Safety Institute (HSI).
As the team has done in many years past, the Generals donned specially designed pink jerseys on October 21st in an effort to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. While all of the buzz leading up to the game surrounded the jerseys themselves, the play on the ice eventually stole the show as the Generals picked up a thrilling, shootout win over the Seattle Ravens.
Following the game, all game-worn pink Generals jerseys were sold via online auction with the proceeds from the sales later donated towards the fight against breast cancer.
The Generals again donned one-of-a-kind sweaters one month later, this time for the Eugene Generals 2nd annual Blood Drive, presented by the Lane Blood Center and the Health & Safety Institute (HSI). Throughout the afternoon of December 9th, the LBC's mobile donation unit was on hand at The Rink Exchange accepting blood donations from Generals fans who in turn received free admission to that evening's game against the Seattle Ravens.
All fans that donated blood during the Eugene Generals Blood Drive received free admission to that evening's game against the Seattle Ravens where the Generals wore "zombie" themed jerseys, a tradition that continued following the overwhelming response from last year's specialty sweaters. Following the game, all game-worn Generals "zombie" jerseys were sold via online auction with the proceeds from the sales later donated towards the fight against cancer.
The Generals wrapped up this season's series of specialty jerseys with Military Appreciation Night on January 6th as the team wore digital camouflage jerseys that were crafted to honor the brave men and women of our nation's armed forces.
USPHL Midwest Showcase
After going winless at the franchise's first USPHL Showcase Series event, the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase in Massachusetts, a hungry Generals squad travelled to Illinois one month later to participate in the Midwest Showcase. Players and staff alike arrived in the Midwest eager to prove that their performance at the I.H.C. Showcase was an aberration, not a normality; they did exactly that as they posted a 3-1-0 record in four Midwest Showcase games.
The frantic four-day stretch of hockey began with a matchup against the Alpena Flyers, a hard-hitting affair that saw the Generals pull away late to earn an impressive 5-2 victory, their very first win at a USPHL Showcase Series event. The Generals promptly followed up the three-goal win over the Flyers with a pair of thrilling victories, first over the Motor City Hawks (3-1) before then defeating the Ironwood Yoopers (3-2) in overtime.
Cole Bloemer (above) busts out one of the most enthusiastic cellys of the season after scoring the game-winner in OT against the Ironwood Yoopers.
The Generals ran out of gas on the Midwest Showcase's final day as the Tri City Icehawks eked out a 3-2 shootout win, a bittersweet ending to an otherwise memorable week of hockey.
Pacific Division Champs, USPHL Playoffs Bound
After posting a 34-7-3 record during the regular season, the Generals clinched the top seed in the Pacific Division Championship, a best-of-three series to determine the Pacific Division's representative in the USPHL Playoffs.
The Generals faced off against second place Seattle and promptly dispatched of the rival Ravens in two games behind to a 7-4 win in Game One and a 4-0 win in Game Two.
By winning the USP3HL's Pacific Division, the Generals clinched a spot in the USPHL Playoffs in Marlborough, Massachusetts where they were one of six USP3HL teams in attendance the vied for the USP3HL Championship.
While in Massachusetts, the Generals were unable to advance out of pool play as they posted a 1-2-0 record with a win over the Decatur Blaze (2-1) and losses to the Charlotte Rush (3-1) and the Florida Jr. Blades (6-0).
This past season included plenty of memorable moments from a team perspective, but numerous Generals players set franchise records while also finishing at-or-near the top of the USP3HL in a number of statistics.
- Most goals in a single game: (6 vs. West Sound Warriors - 9/23/16)
- Most goals in a single season (47)
- Led USP3HL in goals scored (47)
- Most goal scored by a Generals defenseman in single season (23)
- Most points by a Generals defenseman in a single season (56)
- Led all USP3HL defenseman in goals (23)
- Lowest goals against average by a Generals goaltender in a single season (2.28)
- Most game-winning goals by a Generals player in a single season (9)
After a memorable 2016-17 season, preparations for the 13th season of Generals hockey are already underway, starting with the 2017 Eugene Generals Preseason Evaluation Camp held April 29-30 at The Rink Exchange in Eugene, Oregon. Details and information are available at EugeneGenerals.com (REGISTER NOW).