- Created: 21 December 2016
The Eugene Generals (22-6-2, 46pts) suffered their first loss at the 2016 Midwest Showcase this morning, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Midwest Division's Tri City Icehawks (6-16-2, 14pts) at the Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee, Illinois.
As in all USPHL Showcase Series events, every Midwest Showcase game includes two 25-minute periods with a five-man overtime then a three-man shootout to follow if still tied.
For the second game in a row, the Generals were able to take an early lead as defenseman Brett Sparks rifled home a slapshot just three minutes into the game to give Eugene the early 1-0 advantage. Sparks' strike, his 16th goal of the season, proved to be the only goal of a physical first period as the Generals would carry a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
In the second period, the Generals again struck quickly after play resumed as team-leading scorer Cody Arbelovsky doubled the Eugene advantage less than one minute into the frame.
However, the two-goal lead would last only ten minutes as the Icehawks got on the scoreboard near the midway mark of the second period thanks to forward Spencer Poscente who beat Generals netminder Jamie Frantz to cut Eugene's lead back to just one goal.
With the Generals still holding that one-goal lead with less than two minutes to play and an empty Icehawks net, Tri City leveled the score at 2-2 after a frantic sequence in front of the net was capped off by Tri City forward Mitchell Hurbanis banging home a lose puck in the slot to eventually force overtime.
Playing in OT for the second game in a row, the Generals dominated the five-minute, three-on-three period, but Icehawks goaltender Troy Stevens was up to the task as he continually turned away the Generals with highlight reel save after highlight reel save to eventually force a shootout.
In the shootout, Tri City forward Spencer Poscente was the only skater able to score as Generals forward Cody Arbelovsky was turned away in the final round to seal a 3-2 shootout win for the Icehawks on the final day of the USPHL Midwest Showcase.
Eugene Generals goaltender Jamie Frantz, making his first start at the USPHL Midwest Showcase, shined in net stopping 26 of 28 shots faced.
Head Coach Justin Kern was proud of how the team played through their time in the Midwest, stating, "It was a really great week and we had a lot of fun here in Chicago. Of course, we're not excited about the last game, but at the end of the day I am super proud of my boys' performance here in the Midwest and we're really excited to get back to work in the new year."
The Generals will now enjoy a much deserved holiday break before returning to the Emerald Valley to kick off the stretch run of the season, starting with a two-game matchup vs. the Tri-City Outlaws on Friday, January 6th and Saturday, January 7th at The Rink Exchange in Eugene, Oregon with both games starting at 7:30pm PST.
Friday, January 6th will mark the Eugene Generals Military Appreciation Night as the Generals will proudly honor the men and women of our armed forced by donning one-of-a-kind camouflage Generals jerseys during the game. All active duty military and veterans will receive free admission to the game.
Video coverage of all Eugene Generals home games is provided via the Eugene Generals Hockey Network while live updates are provided via Twitter. Tickets can be purchased online at EugeneGenerals.com, or in-person immediately before each home game at the Eugene Generals box office, located at The Rink Exchange.