- Created: 14 December 2015
After knocking off the last undefeated Tier III team left in the country, the Generals now turn their attention to a two-game home series vs. the Seattle Ravens.
Playing in their first Thursday game of the year, the Generals welcomed the unbeated Wenatchee Wolves to town last week looking to avenge a two-game road sweep the Generals suffered at the hands of the Wolves two weeks earlier. The Wolves entered the midweek matchup with the Generals boasting the NPHL's best offense, outscoring opponents 112-25 en route to their 19-0-0-0 start.
Thursday, December 10th: Generals - 2, Wolves - 1
First Star: Christopher Pritchard - 51 saves
Second Star: Christian "Buddy" Dale - GW Goal
Third Star: Cody Arbelovsky - Goal
The Generals shocked the Northwest and snapped the longest winning streak in the country with a dramatic 2-1 win in front of a raucous crowd at The Rink Exchange on Thursday night.
After absorbing a wave of Wolves attacks early throughout the first period, Cody Arbelovsky flipped the script and opened the scoring with his team-leading 12th goal of the season coming at the 12:35 mark. Arbelovsky, whose goal was unassisted, quickly managed to kick and prod the puck into the high slot after a faceoff, and there he unleashed a wicked wrist shot that beat Wolves goaltender Max Flynn over his left shoudler to give the Generals a 1-0 lead.
Still leading 1-0 after the first intermission, the Generals doubled their advantage as team captain Christian "Buddy" Dale found himself able to benefit from a little fortune. After weaving his way through the neutral zone and floating out to the left wing, Dale fired the puck towards the waiting stick of Dustin Gomez in front of the net, but instead the puck caught the skate blade of Wenatchee defenseman Jonathan Banovetz and re-directed just past Flynn for the Generals' second goal.
However, the Wolves would respond almost immediately in the form of a Tom Ignatovich goal with just under four minutes gone in the second period. With the Generals struggling to clear the puck from their own zone, defenseman Jonathan Banovetz made amends for his earlier unlucky bounce and nicely kept the puck in the zone at the point before rifling it towards the net. Ignatovich, who had circled around from behind the net, found himself in prime position in front of the net and applied a perfect deflection off of his stick blade and into the top right corner, cutting the Wolves' deficit back to one.
That would be the only time Pritchard was beaten on the evening, though, as the Tualatin, Oregon native put forth perhaps the best performance of his career, a 51-save effort filled with sprawling, highlight-reel saves that continually kept the Generals in the game and the crowd on their feet. Pritchard saved his best work for the third period, stopping all 24 shots faced during those twenty minutes and highlighted by a miraculous glove save on Ignatovich.
Next Up: Seattle Ravens
When: Friday and Saturday* - 7:35pm
Where: The Rink Exchange - Eugene, Oregon
Coverage: EGHN - Eugene Generals Hockey Network
Tickets: Buy Now
The Generals now prepare for a visit from the Seattle Ravens, their first ever trip to play in Eugene. The Ravens, in the midst of their inaugural season in the NPHL, have rebounded after a slow start and have quickly proven to be a tough opposition to the league's top teams.
Although this will be the Ravens' first trip to Eugene, it won't be the first time facing the Generals, as the two have already played each other four times this season at the Kent Valley Ice Arena in Washington, with the Generals winning three of those four matchups. In all but one meeting between the two teams, the game has been decided by just one goal (Generals are 2-1 in one-goal games vs. the Ravens). The Ravens' lone win vs. the Generals came the last time these two teams met, a 2-1 win on October 10th in which Seattle's young goaltender Justin Nelson stopped all but one of the 45 shots he faced.
Players to watch for the Ravens include Ben Lehfeldt-Ehlinger, a 6'4'' defenseman that has developed a knack for putting the puck in the back of the net (five goals in his last three games), and Jake Best, a Puyallup native that has already scored three goals vs. the Generals this season.
In net, the Ravens boast a solid two-man rotation with former Bellingham Blazer Joshua Stone leading the way and youngster Justin Nelson nipping at his heels. Each is expected to get a start this weekend, with Stone likely starting Friday night's game and Nelson starting the finale.
Key to the Matchup: Ravens Goaltending. Despite outshooting the Ravens 162-89 during their four previous meetings, the Generals struggled to put many pucks past the Ravens netminders, and ultimately it was Stone and Nelson that kept the Ravens alive in three of those four games. If the Ravens want to pull off their own shock this weekend and pick up one (or two) wins against the Generals, both Stone and Nelson will need to stand on their heads once again.
NPHL Weekend Recap
Wenatchee Wolves vs. Tri-Cities Outlaws
After surffering their first loss of the season to the Generals last Thursday night, the Wolves were forced to quickly regroup as they kicked off a home-and-home series with the Tri-Cities Outlaws on Friday night in Kennewick, Washington.
Showing perhaps a little fatigue from the night before, the Wolves struggled out of the gates and were held scoreless after twenty minutes. However, the floodgates opened up in the second period as Richie Stickle scored just 41 seconds into the period, kicking off an offensive onslaught that saw the Wolves score six times in the second period en route to a 7-1 win over the Outlaws.
On Saturday, the two teams made the trip across Washington to Wenatchee for the finale of the two-game series. After the slow start the night before, the Wolves left no doubt on Saturday in front of their home crowd as it took only nine seconds for Weincek to open the scoring and give the home side a 1-0 lead.
When the dust settled, the Wolves had put up an eye-popping 11 goals on the Outlaws while goaltender Max Flynn rebounded from Thursday night's loss with an 18-save, shutout win.
For the second consecutive night, Weincek finished with a hat trick while his teammate Coleton Booth netted three goals on the evening. With the sweep of the Outlaws, the Wolves improved to 21-1-0-0 on the season in the NPHL while extending their lead over the second place Bellingham Blazers to eight points.
The Bellingham Blazers and West Sound Warriors were both idle this past weekend.
NPHL Upcoming Games
Tri-Cities Outlaws at Bellingham Blazers - 7:35pm
Wenatchee Wolves at West Sound Warriors - 7:35pm
Tri-Cities Outlaws at Bellingham Blazers - 7:35pm
West Sound Warriors at Wenatchee Wolves - 5:35pm
Blood Drive - Saturday, December 19th will be Blood Drive Night presented by Lane Blood Center and Health & Safety Institute, with the Generals wearing specialty "zombie" jerseys vs. the Seattle Ravens to commemorate the cause. Lane Blood Center's mobile donation unit will be at The Rink Exchange from 4-7pm taking blood donations, and the Generals will be giving away free tickets to anyone who donates blood before the game.
Zombie Jersey Raffle - On that same vein (pardon the pun) fans that donate blood during the 1st Annual Generals Blood Drive will also be automatically entered into a raffle for the chance to win one of the specialty "zombie" Generals jerseys. Don't wait - be sure to donate before the game for your free ticket, or purchase your tickets to see these one-of-a-kind jerseys in action.
Christmas for Kids - This year, the Generals are getting in the holiday spirit and teaming up to support Christmas for Kids of Lane County. Over the past weekend, Generals helped wrap presents, hand out gifts, and distribute meals to those in need throughout Eugene, Springfield, and all of Lane County. Learn more about Christmas for Kids of Lane County and how you can help make the holidays a little brighter for those in need.
Home Cookin' - After a road-heavy start to the season, the Generals will play four more consecutive home games throughout December and January, highlighted by the the Seattle Ravens making their very first trip to Eugene this upcoming weekend. Purchase your tickets today.
Holiday Break - The Generals will have their holiday break from December 20th until January 14th, with games resuming on January 15th and 16th at 7:35pm vs. the Tri-Cities Outlaws at The Rink Exchange. The Generals will play nine of their final seventeen regular season games at home. Be there for the playoff push. Get your tickets now.
EGHN On Demand - Want to re-watch past home games? Check the EGHN archives to re-watch every Generals home game this season, 100% for free.
Support EGHN - The Eugene Generals Hockey Network has (and will) continue to be an entirely FREE broadcast for all fans. However, EGHN is entirely funded and run on donations and contributions. As we hope to purchase a new camera for our broadcast team, please, if possible, donate today and help support EGHN!