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Monday Brief - Split With Seattle And Another Big Addition

After splitting a two-game series vs. the Seattle Ravens in Washington this past weekend, the Generals now prepare for their final regular season road series while welcoming another new addition to the roster.

On Friday evening, the Generals and Ravens faced off with Eugene entering the matchup harboring dreams of potentially clinching the regular season Pacific Division title as a pair of regulation wins for the Gens would do exactly that. 

After a scoreless first period, the Generals appeared to be right on track towards clinching the division crown as forwards Frazier "Butch" Mohler and Cody Arbelovsky scored within 62 seconds of one another to give Eugene a 2-0 lead early in the second period. However, penalties would come back to bite the Generals later in the period as Seattle would tie the score heading into the second intermission thanks to power play goals by Tom Speer and Kraig Smith.

In the third period, Seattle took their first lead of the game late in the period as team-leading scorer Braden Sanchez scored at the 15:14 mark, but it wasn't enough to secure the win as Eugene forward and assistant captain Josh Hawn would tie the game with less than a minute left in regulation to force overtime.

After a scoreless overtime period, the two teams advanced to a shootout as Eugene's Colton Symbol and Seattle's Payton Okon each scored in the opening round, but the goaltenders took over thereafter as neither side was able to light the lamp for the ensuing five rounds. Finally in the seventh round, Generals forward Tristan Bulot buried a beautiful finish to put Eugene ahead and goaltender Christopher Alexakis immediately followed by turning away Ravens defenseman Kraig Smith's attempt on net to seal the shootout win. 

Alexais finished with 44 saves on 47 shots to earn his 17th win of the season while the Generals moved to 3-0-0 against Seattle this season in games that have been decided in overtime or a shootout.

 

On Saturday, after the Generals missed out on a chance to clinch the regular season division title the night before, both teams faced off again as Seattle aimed to split the series while keeping their faint hopes of a division title alive. After a scoreless first period for the second consecutive evening, it was the Ravens who struck with a pair of second period goals in quick succession as forward John Nauman put Seattle ahead 2-0 late in the second period. The Generals would strike back before the break, though, as captain Logan Sanders scored from the high slot to cut the Ravens' lead to 2-1 heading into the second intermission. 

In the third period, Seattle regained their two-goal advantage midway through the period as team-leading goal scorer Braden Sanchez put the Ravens ahead 3-2, but Generals forward Colton Symbol responded at the 15:37 mark to once again cut the Generals deficit back to one. Despite a pair of power play opportunities in the game's final five minutes the Ravens were able to hold on as they picked up a 3-2 win while securing three of four possible points from the weekend. 

Despite taking the loss, Generals goaltender Christian Zecchetto was stellar in net as he finished with 35 saves on 38 shots.

 

USP3HL Round Up

It was a quiet weekend in the North Division as the only action was a two-game series between the Jersey Hitmen and the Springfield Pics, a series easily swept by the Hitmen as Jersey outscored Springfield, 13-0, over the two games. With the pair of wins, the Hitmen padded their lead atop the division as the six-point gap between Jersey and the Islanders Hockey Club is one of the largest margins of the season in what has been a typically tight North Division. The Hitmen have eight games left in the regular season and they'll play every team in the North Division twice over the season's final month.

In the South Division, the Richmond Generals and Hampton Roads Whalers split a thrilling two-game series as the battle for playoff seeding continues to heat up in the south. Meanwhile, Carolina crossed the 60-point threshold after a pair of impressive wins over a tough Atlanta team as the Eagles outscored the Knights, 10-3, over the two-game series in Georgia. Unfortunately for Carolina, they weren't able to gain an ground on second place Charlotte as the Rush dominated a two-game series vs. the Potomac Patriots. Lastly, Daytona took four of six possible points from their three-game series against the Florida Eels while Palm Beach one a pair of nail-biters over Tampa.

It was another topsy-turvy weekend in the Midwest as Decatur continued to cement their status as the top contender to first place Traverse City as the Blaze won a pair of hard fought games (4-3 and 5-4, respectively) over the Ironwood Yoopers. Speaking of Traverse City, the North Stars dominated their only game of the weekend as they cruised to a 9-3 win over Alpena on Friday night, but the Flyers bounced back with a dominant win of their own as they handed the Hawks a 7-1 loss. The following day, it was Motor City's turn to exact some revenge as the Hawks won a thriller over the Flyers, 8-7. Motor city finished the weekend with a 2-1-1 record after downing the Tri-City Icehawks, 4-0, on Friday.

 

News & Notes

Generals Acquire Forward Adam Shimamoto

This past weekend, the Eugene Generals proudly announced the acquisition of forward Adam Shimamoto from the Tri-City Outlaws for undisclosed terms. 

A native of Colorado, Shimamoto comes to Eugene with three seasons of junior hockey experience already under his belt, all of which have been with the Tri-City Outlaws. During his time with the Outlaws organization, Shimamoto tallied 58 goals and 64 assists for 122 overall points in 100 career games. 

Shimamoto is the third player that the Generals have added in just three weeks after the franchise previously acquired forward Colton Symbol - also from the Tri-City Outlaws - before adding defenseman Jordan Szymanski earlier this week.

Known as a leader on and off of the ice, “Shimmy” is credited not just as a prolific point-getter but also as one of the division’s most respected players for his conduct with teammates and opponents alike. Entering last weekend, Shimamoto ranked T-19th overall in the USP3HL in goals, T-20th in assists and 14th in points. 

Shimamoto will make his home debut on Friday, February 3rd vs. the West Sound Warriors at The Rink Exchange, the first game of a six-game homestand that will wrap up the USP3HL regular season. Tickets are available at EugeneGenerals.com or in-person immediately before each home game at the Eugene Generals Box Office, located at The Rink Exchange. 

 

Playoff Projections

As the standings currently sit, the Generals hold an eleven-point lead over the second place Seattle Ravens with just eight games remaining in the regular season. The Generals will have a chance to clinch the regular season division title this upcoming weekend, but they'll need some help. Not only will the Generals need to win both games against the Tri-City Outlaws, but they'll also need the Ravens to lose one of their two games against last place West Sound. If Seattle sweeps the two-game series then the Generals will have to wait until the following weekend where they'll have a chance to clinch the regular season division title on home ice.

In total, one (1) Pacific Division team, one (1) North Division team, two (2) Midwest Division teams and two (2) South Division teams will have the opportunity to participate in the Beantown Spring Classic which will determine the USP3HL champion. Each division will hold their own respective playoff before teams can then move on to the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts. There, the six teams in attendance will be divided into two pools to play in a "round robin" format.

In the Pacific Division, the top two teams at the end of the regular season move on to play a best-of-three matchup that will determine the Pacific Division champion and thus the division's representative at the Beantown Spring Classic. As the standings currently sit, the Eugene Generals and Seattle Ravens would face off in the aforementioned Pacific Division Championship Series with Eugene owning home ice for two of the potential three games. The winner of the Pacific Division Championship Series would then be placed in a pool with the first place finishing team from the South Division (currently: Florida Jr. Blades) and the second place finishing team from the Midwest Division (currently: Decatur Blaze). 

If the playoffs began today using the current USP3HL standings, the two pools would look like the following:

Pool A: Florida Jr. Blades (South #1), Eugene Generals (Pacific #1), Decatur Blaze (Midwest #2)

Pool B: Jersey Hitmen (North #1), Traverse City North Stars (Midwest #1), Charlotte Rush (South #2)

Following round robin play, the #1 and #2 teams from each pool would cross over and play one another before advancing on to a best-of-three championship round. 

The Pacific Division Championship Series is scheduled to take place during the span of 2/21 to 2/29 with official dates still to be determined while the USPHL Beantown Spring Classic will be held from March 7-10. 

 

Five Generals Participate At USA Hockey Oregon Development Camp

This past weekend, three Generals players - Jamie Frantz, Kyle Lund and Bradley Maddox - as well as two Generals practice players - Broc Friesen and Griffin Minchin - participated at USA Hockey's Oregon Development Camp. 

Held at the Winterhawks Skating Center in Beaverton, Oregon, the state's best youth players were invited to participate in a two-day event that included both on and off-ice elements, including small-area games, scrimmages, workouts, and health seminars. There, players in attendance showcased their skills in the hopes of earning an invite to the Pacific District Player Development Camp in San Jose, California.