The Cochrane Generals are slowly chipping away at the Southern Division leading Okotoks Bisons after back-to-back wins on Nov. 24 and 25 to boost their record to 11-8 on the season.
A week after the Generals were soundly beaten 7-2 by the Stettler Lightning, Cochrane returned the favour in their only home game of the weekend with a 6-3 victory over the visitors.
Talus Hume and Sam Norris scored quickly for the Generals, with both goals coming less than 10 minutes into the game.
Stettler would make it a one goal game less than a minute into the second frame, but Scott Shugg scored, as well as Slater Ransom to make the score 4-1 in favour of the home side after 40 minutes of play.
Once again, the Lightning scored to cut the lead in half, but their comeback bid was quickly stomped out by the Gens potent power play, which tallied back-to-back goals from Hume and Brandon Aab … Cochrane’s special teams were above average on the evening, going three for five on the power play and killing off the only penalty they were assessed in the game. The Lightning would score a short-handed goal with 1:03 left to go in the contest to give the game its final score of 6-3.
Hume was tied for the team lead in points during the course of the game, finishing with two goals and an assist. Austin Keller had three assists and Aab potted a goal and had two helpers.
Goaltender Erik Garber has continued his strong play this season, turning aside 28 of the 31 shots.
The win was a bit of revenge for the Generals after the beat down they received a week early says Hume, who now is tied with Slater Ransom for the team point leader with 30 points in 20 games.
“For sure it was nice to get some revenge on them (Stettler),” Hume said.
“Anytime you come off a bad loss to a team lower in the standings, there’s always added motivation to make sure it doesn’t happen again, especially at home.”
The following night, Cochrane travelled to play a struggling Medicine Hat Cubs team and came away with a 5-2 victory thanks to the performances by their top two point getters.
The Generals power play continued its hot streak, with Austin Keller rocketing a shot past the Cubs goaltender, which gave Cochrane a 1-0 lead. Aab scored back-to-back goals and Ransom also scored to extend the team’s lead to 4-0 after two periods of play. Medicine Hat scored two goals early in the third, but Hume put the game away shortly after with another power play goal.
Ransom and Hume finished the game with five and four points respectively and Aab also chipped in with a two goals and an assist… Erik Garber wasn’t too busy throughout the evening, but did make 21 saves.
Cochrane’s power play went five for 14 over the course of the two games, operating at a 35 per cent success rate, while going six for six on the penalty kill. Hume says special teams will be a key component if the Generals are going to continue to have success moving forward.
“We’ve been really working hard on our special teams as of late so it’s great to see the results,” Hume said.
“In this league, there’s a lot of power plays throughout the course of any given game so it’s important to capitalize on those chances if you want to win games.”
The month of December is a busy one for the Gens, with four straight road games starting Dec. 2 against the Red Deer Vipers. That is followed by a mini two-game home stand. Cochrane’s final game before the Christmas break will be Dec. 22 when they’re in High River to take on the Flyers.