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Generals Fend Off Warriors In First Of Weekend Series

Despite a hectic final few minutes in Friday night’s game, the Eugene Generals (33-7-3, 69pts) continued their strong end to the season as they topped the West Sound Warriors (4-36-1, 9pts) by a score of 5-4 at The Rink Exchange in Eugene, Oregon.

The first period largely belonged to the home team, with Eugene shutting out the visiting Warriors until the final minute of play. Colton Symbol drew first blood as he sniped the puck over the shoulder of West Sound goaltender Brian Lacharite. Defenseman Brett Sparks, who notched two goals of his own last Saturday against Seattle, assisted on the goal with a tape-to-tape pass from the blue line, while Nash Berkowitz earned the secondary helper. The tally at 6:01 of the first put Eugene up, 1-0.

Only a minute later, the Generals would double the score on the board. Not content with just an assist, Sparks got in on the scoring with Warriors’ Nathan Lutz in the box for tripping. Cody Arbelovsky and Logan Sanders earned the helpers on the goal at 7:01, which gave the Generals a 2-0 lead.

West Sound prevented the shutout on a power play with just 58 seconds remaining. Alexander Dudley cut the Generals’ lead in half, while Matthew Stone potted the single assist. The teams headed to the locker rooms with the score at 2-1.

The middle frame got off to a slower start, with both squads exchanging rushes, but the goaltenders stood tall and neither team was able to get much going. The fireworks began just over six minutes in when West Sound’s Karlen Slater and Eugene’s Symbol exchanged words and a scuffle. Each received five minutes for fighting and game misconducts.

The stalemate finally broke at 13:54, when Cole Bloemer widened the Generals’ lead. The goal, assisted by Sparks and Arbelovsky, came just after a West Sound roughing penalty expired. Unfortunately for the home squad, West Sound would make it a one-goal game with 10 seconds to go in the period. Alexander Dudley buried a pass from Henry Waite, and the buzzer would send the players off to the tune of a 3-1 Generals advantage.

The final 20 minutes of play started with a bang, as it took only 19 seconds for the Generals to once more give themselves a two-goal cushion. Josh Hawn netted the insurance goal from deep in the zone as Arbelovsky picked up his third assist and Sanders his second. Eugene would get a few nice looks on the penalty kill past the halfway mark, but were otherwise not able to find the net.

The teams traded goals late in the frame, starting with West Sound’s Stone and Dudley combining for a goal at 16:20. Bloemer followed with another tally at 17:12, helped by Arbelovsky and Bradley Maddox to make it 5-3 Generals. The Warriors nearly mounted a comeback with under a minute remaining when Lutz found his way past Generals goaltender Christian Zecchetto, but they would go no further, and Eugene would win the game by a score of 5-4.

Lacharite stopped 49 of the 54 shots he faced for the Warriors, while Zecchetto turned aside 18 of 21. Both teams went 1-for-1 on the power play.

The teams will cross blades again tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at The Rink Exchange in Eugene in what will be the final game of the regular season. Tickets are available for purchase at EugeneGenerals.com or at the Eugene Generals Box Office prior to puck drop at The Rink Exchange.