- Created: 30 January 2017
After completing a two-game sweep of the Tri-City Outlaws this past weekend, the Eugene Generals now prepare to open up a six-game homestand that will conclude the regular season with hopes of clinching the Pacific Division title as early as this upcoming weekend.
Saturday, January 28th : Generals - 12, Outlaws - 3
On Saturday, the Generals and Outlaws faced off in Kennewick, Washington in what would be the final series between the two teams this season, and it took only 97 for the Generals to take the lead as forward Jack Thornton opened the scoring with his 7th goal of the season. Kory Palmer soon followed by scoring his first two goals of the season in a three minute span, and ensuing goals from Cole Bloemer, Adam Shimamoto and Cody Arbelovsky would give Eugene a 6-0 lead at the break.
In the second period, goals from Cody Arbelovsky, Adam Shimamoto (2) and Nash Berkowitz would extend the Eugene lead up to 10-0, and two more goals from Arbelovsky in the third period would give Eugene an impressive 12-3 win as the Outlaws would score a trio of late consolation goals.
Generals goaltender Christian Zecchetto earned his sixth win of the season while Cody Arbelovsky finished with a game-high four goals and Adam Shimamoto tallied a hat trick.
Sunday, January 29th : Generals - 7, Outlaws - 2
On Sunday, it was a scoreless stalemate for more than half of the first period, but the Generals broke through at the 13:50 mark as forward Frazier "Butch" Mohler scored his 13th goal of the season, and Cody Arbelovsky followed just under three and a half minutes later with his 38th goal of the season to give the Generals a 2-0 lead.
A shorthanded goal by Generals team captain Logan Sanders just 76 seconds into the period gave the Generals a 3-0 lead, and Outlaws forward Kalen Campbell's goal at the 8:33 mark was cancelled out just 81 seconds later as Arbelovsky scored his second goal of the game to put Eugene back ahead by three. Generals forward Cole Bloemer scored his 21st goal of the season with less than five minutes left in the period to put Eugene ahead, 5-1, but T.C. forward Erik Johnson cut it back to a three-goal game at the 17:16 mark with his first goal as an Outlaw.
Midway through the third period, Arbelovsky completed his hat trick at the 8:38 mark, his seventh goal of the series, and forward Adam Shimamoto would cap off the scoring just under three minutes later as the Generals would win, 7-2.
Goaltender Christopher Alexakis stopped all seven shots faced in the first period while Jamie Frantz stopped 16 of 18 shots faced as he played in net for the the second and third periods and earned the win.
In the South Division, the weekend's most anticipated matchup proved to be a one-sided affair as the second place Charlotte Rush swept a two-game series over the Carolina Eagles with wins of 6-1 and 7-4, respectively. Meanwhile, the Florida Jr. Blades officially clinched the top seed in the upcoming South Division Playoffs after downing a plucky Daytona team by a final score of 5-3 on Saturday before finishing off a sweep of the Racers on Sunday with a 9-0 win. In another series with massive playoff implications, the Richmond Generals took both games of a hard fought two-game series against the Hampton Roads Whalers behind a narrow 3-1 win on Saturday and a dramatic, 4-3 overtime win on Sunday despite being outshot by a 41-19 margin. The Palm Beach Hawks clinched a spot in the South Division Playoffs after a pair of impressive 4-3 wins over the Atlanta Junior Knights, and the Tampa Juniors took both games of a home-and-home series against the Florida Eels. The Potomac Patriots also picked up their first win of the season this past weekend as they split a two-game series with the Boston Junior Bruins.
The standings went completely unchanged in the Midwest this past weekend as the typically topsy-turvy division saw a trio of splits: the first place North Stars split a two-game series with the Motor City Hawks, the Ironwood Yoopers and Kalkaska Rhinos split a two-game series, and the Alpena Flyers and Tri City Icehawks also split a two-game series.
In the North, Jersey Shore was eliminated from contention for the top spot in the division after they lost both games of a two-game series vs. the Islanders Hockey Club, but I.H.C. was unable to gain ground on the first place Hitmen as Jersey swept their two-game series against the Springfield Pics.
In the Pacific, second place Seattle kept their faint hopes of finishing in first place alive as they took care of business against West Sound with a pair of dominant wins, outscoring the Warriors by a 20-1 margin over the two-game series.
Arbelovsky's Etches Name In Generals Record Books
After scoring seven goals in the team's two-game series vs. the Tri-City Outlaws this past weekend, Arbelovsky pulled himself into a tie with Tyler Tymchuck (2006-08) for third all-time in Generals franchise history for goals scored in a single season (40) while also passing Ryan Schank (2005-07) for sole possession of fifth all-time in Generals franchise history for overall points in a single season (76).
Through 36 games played this season, Arbelovsky's 40 goals and 76 overall points both currently rank second overall in the USP3HL.
USP3HL Playoff Procedures
As the standings currently sit, the Generals hold an eleven-point lead over the second place Seattle Ravens with just six games remaining in the regular season. The Generals will have a chance to clinch the regular season division title this upcoming weekend as the Generals are now needing only one win in any of their final six games.
Following the conclusion of the regular season, the top two teams in the Pacific Division face off in the best-of-three Pacific Division Championship Series and the winner will advance to the Beantown Spring Classic in Marlborough, Massachusetts where the USP3HL champion will be decided. If the Generals were to clinch the regular season division title, the tentative schedule for the Pacific Division Championship Series schedule would be as follows:
|Tuesday, February 21st||The Rink Exchange - Eugene, Oregon||6:30pm PST|
|Friday, February 24th||The Rink Exchange - Eugene, Oregon||7:30pm PST|
|Saturday, February 25th (if necessary)||The Rink Exchange - Eugene, Oregon||7:30pm PST|
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.
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.