The Cochrane Generals finished off the first half of their Heritage Junior Hockey League (HJHL) season with a convincing 6-2 win over the High River Flyers on Dec. 22.
The game was all Cochrane from the beginning, with Talus Hume opening the scoring at just over the midway mark with a power play goal and Colton Wong scored with 31 seconds left in the period to make it 2-0 Cochrane. The Generals would stretch their lead to 5-0 after Slater Ransom scored his 22nd goal of the season in the second period. Hume and Taylor Girard added markers to increase the General’s lead. High River would show some fight later in the game, scoring back-to-back goals in the middle of the third period cut the score to 5-2, but that’s as close as they’d come as Hume put away his third goal with 39 seconds remaining in the contest to give himself a hat trick.
Three players had multi-point games for Cochrane, with Hume adding two assists to his three goals for a total of five points, Austin Keller chipped in with three assists and Slater Ransom also tallied a goal and two helpers to keep him in the scoring race lead with Hume. Hume has 21 goals and 29 assists for 50 points in 26 games with Ransom finished the first half of the season with 22 goals and 25 assists in 23 games.
Hume says there’s a bit of a friendly rivalry between the two line mates to see who can out score each other once the season is done.
“Obviously, with us being friends, we’re always keeping tabs on each other so I guess you could say there’s a bit of a rivalry,” Hume said with a laugh.
“However, we are usually focused on succeeding as line mates so it’s not really something that’s crossing our minds once we get out on the ice.”
The Generals are also on a tear as a late, recording points in eight of their last nine games, upping their record to 15-10-1 on the season, good for 31 points, just two points back of second place High River who have played two more games as well as only three points back of the Southern Division leading Okotoks Bisons. Hume feels if his team can continue their strong play, it will pay off in the long run.
“We were OK to start and got better as the season went along. We were trying to find consistency in our game (early in the season) and it’s been a bit tough,” Hume said.
“I’d say there’s definitely more to give in the final stretch of the season as we shoot for first place.”
Erik Garber got the start in net for Cochrane, stopping 40 of the 42 shots he faced, recording his team leading 13th win of the season. Garber has really brought stability to the Generals goal crease, posting a 13-7 record with three shutouts and a 2.75 goals against average.
Garber says he feels good about his game heading into 2018, but feels like there is room for improvement.
“I think this season has gone well for me. I’ve had a lot of confidence all year and I just feel comfortable in the net,” Garber said. I’ve had a great team in front of me and it’s given me the best chance to play my best. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
The Generals are off until Jan. 5 and 6 when they host the Coaldale Copperheads and Medicine Hat Cubs, but will have a very busy month to follow. They play back-to-back games on both Jan. 12 and 13 weekend as well as Jan. 26 and 27.