- Created: 11 February 2017
The Eugene Generals (32-7-3, 67pts) defeated the Seattle Ravens (22-14-4, 48pts) on Saturday night at The Rink Exchange to finish off a sweep of a weekend series between the two teams.
Meeting for the final time of the regular season before facing off two weeks from now in the USP3HL Pacific Division Championship Series, the Generals and Ravens hit the ice in the Emerald Valley 24 hours after Eugene earned a hard-fought 5-3 win over Seattle.
For the second straight evening, the Generals opened the scoring on the power play as rookie Kyle Lund netted his eighth goal of the season on a clever redirect off of a Frazier Mohler pass. At the 11:33 mark, assistant captain Josh Hawn would double the Generals' advantage as he scored his 10th goal of the season.
Just 82 seconds later, it was back to a one-goal game as Seattle's Ryan Keilty weaved his way through the Generals' defensive pair before beating goaltender Christopher Alexakis. It was back to a two-goal Generals lead less than a minute later as the Generals would score their second PP goal of the evening thanks to Cody Arbelovsky who roofed a wrist shot from the top of the circle, his third goal of the series and 44th goal overall this season.
Colton Symbol would follow just 32 seconds later by scoring his ninth goal in eight games since joining the Generals, but the Ravens would get that goal back before the break as recent acquisition Kraig Smith suck a shot past Alexakis and that trickled just inside the post to cut the Ravens' deficit back to two heading into the locker room.
In the second period, Kory Palmer scored the Generals' third power play goal of the game with just under seven minutes off of the clock to stretch the Generals lead up to 5-1, Palmer's fifth goal of the season. Cody Arbelovsky would follow with another power play goal three minutes later, and team captain Logan Sanders would add his own power play goal at the 14:10 mark to make it a 7-2 Eugene lead. However, Seattle would be heard from again before the break as forward Brendan Phillipps scored his third goal as a Raven since joining the team at the beginning of December.
Phillipp's goal would lead to a frantic Seattle scoring spree early in the third period as a wide Eugene lead would quickly become a slim margin. Ryan Keilty cut Seattle's deficit to three goals at the 2:50 mark as the Generals power play unit, which had scored five of the team's seven goals, surrendered a shorthanded opportunity to Keilty who capitalized to score his second goal of the evening.
Two and a half minutes later, defenseman Biko Neuenschwander would continue the comeback by scoring off of a hard shot from the point that snuck past a screened Alexakis in net. The goal was only Neuenschwander's third in 38 games this season, however two of them have come against Eugene.
With just over eight minutes gone in the third period, Ryan Donlan would make it a one-goal game for the first time since the 13:12 mark of the first period by scoring the Ravens' fourth consecutive unanswered goal, a tap-in for an unmarked Donlan who was fed in the low slot by a pass from Brett Lisoway.
Donlan's goal set up a tense eleven minutes as a raucous crowd at The Rink Exchange grew tense with a once large Generals lead reduced just to one, but after a string of frantic moments and big saves by Alexakis, a cross-checking penalty issued to Donlan with 27 seconds left in regulation helped ease worries on the ice and in the stands as the Generals would close out the game and win by a final score of 7-6.
Entering the evening with the USP3HL's best power play unit (27.7%), the Generals scored on five of ten power plays this evening, however they did also surrender the aforementioned shorthanded goal scored by Ryan Keilty in the third period.
Christopher Alexakis earned his 20th win of the season, the third USP3HL goaltender to do so this season. His 20 wins trail only the 21 wins notched by Fabio Meier (FBJ) and Cayden Bailey (FBJ) for the most in the league.
Cody Arbelovsky's two goals tonight now puts him just one goal behind Michael Frei for most goals in a single season in Generals franchise history (46: 2008-09). He scored two goals in each of the two games against Seattle this weekend.
Tonight's game was the seventh one-goal game between Eugene and Seattle out of twelve total meetings this season.
The Generals now head back to work to prepare for the regular season's final weekend which will include a two-game series against the West Sound Warriors at The Rink Exchange in Eugene, Oregon. The two teams will face off on Friday and Saturday evening with scheduled start times of 7:30pm on both nights. Tickets are available at EugeneGenerals.com and in-person at the Eugene Generals Box Office, located at The Rink Exchange. Remember to follow the Generals on Facebook and Twitter for scoring updates, news and behind-the-scenes content.