The Cochrane Generals seven-game point streak came to an end after they lost both of their Heritage Junior Hockey League (HJHL) games on Dec. 15 and 16.
After a successful four-game road trip where the team took away seven of a possible eight points, Cochrane found themselves only three points back of the Okotoks Bisons for first place in the Southern Division standings. The Generals took on Okotoks on Dec. 15 in a game they lost 6-1.
It was all visitors all night long, as the Bisons scored five consecutive goals spanning out across the three periods before Talus Hume broke Okotok’s goaltender Devin Reagan’s shut out bid at the 5:57 mark of the third period to make it 5-1. Okotoks would add a final goal late.
Three players finished with one point for Cochrane, as Colton Wong and Slater Ransom assisted on Hume’s lone marker of the game. Goaltender Knute Loe made 20 saves on the 24 shots he faced, before being replaced by Erik Garber to start the third … Garber made seven saves on nine shots in his brief relief appearance.
The Generals played the following night, hosting the High River Flyers. Once again, the road team got out to an early lead, as High River scored three goals early in the first period before Slater Ransom scored once in the first and again early in the second period to get the Gens within a goal. That’s as close as Cochrane would come as High River scored back-to-back goals, extending their lead to 5-2 … Christian Dees got one back for the home side, but it was too little too late.
Ransom led the way offensively for Cochrane with his two goal effort and five other players hit the points sheet. Knute Loe once again got the call, turning aside 26 shots he faced.
With the back-to-back losses, Cochrane now sits third in the division, four points back of High River and five back of Okotoks. The Generals have two games in hand over the Flyers.
Team captain Austin Keller says the team needs to get back into their groove so they feel good about themselves going into the Christmas break.
“The way I see it, that game (against High River) could have very easily gone either way. They got a couple lucky bounces that ended up in our net but overall I thought we outplayed them,” Keller said.
“Next weekend, we just have to come out with the same intensity as we did in the last game and we should be successful.”
“The games this weekend were tough but that doesn’t really say who we are as a team. We still have a lot to give and I believe our team is going to be back on a roll and gunning for first place in no time.”
The HJHL also named its rosters for the first All-Star game with three Generals being selected to play for the Southern Division All-Stars. Keller, along with Slater Ransom and Talus Hume will partake in the game that will take place on Jan. 7 at Murray Arena in Okotoks.
“Obviously, it’s a really big honour to be able to go to a game like that and represent the Generals. It should be a great game and overall a really great experience,” Keller said adding that it’ll be nice to play with two teammates.
“It just makes the experience that much better sharing it with your teammates. Especially Talus and Slater. I’ve been playing with those guys pretty much my whole hockey career so it should be a really great experience.”
The Generals will be in High River on Dec. 22 to play in the team’s final game before the Christmas break. Cochrane will play their next home game on Jan. 5 when they host the Coaldale Copperheads.