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Generals close out season in style

Moose Jaw takes 8-3 win over Beardy's in final game of campaign
If the Moose Jaw Generals had played as well all season as they did in the last few weeks of the 2018-19 Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League campaign, there's a good chance they'd be preparing for a playoff push.

Instead, they find themselves wondering what could have been, especially if not for a 13-game losing streak that lasted throughout the month of November.

Those woes were behind them and then some on Wednesday night, as the Generals rolled to an 8-3 victory over the Beardy's Blackhawks in their final game of the season.

“That was the story of our year, the consistency,” said Generals head coach Ray Wareham. “I think after Christmas, I thought we played some pretty good hockey. We were around 9-6, and even the start of the year we were playing pretty good hockey, it was the middle portion when we went on that slide and couldn't find our way out of it. We had some chances to win hockey games that we found a way to lose, it was tough sledding there for a little bit.

“But to the guys' credit, they went home and refreshed themselves at the Christmas break and gave themselves a chance in the second half.”

Generals goaltender Reece Hodson turned in one of his best games of the season against Beardy's, turning aside no less than 51 shots, including 25 in the third period alone.

His teammates had built a 4-2 lead by then, and a four-goal third period explosion saw to it they'd be leaving Mosaic Place with a commanding victory.

Cody Davis scored once and added a pair of assists while Steven Kesslering and Brendan Kemp had two goals each. Evan Sare had three assists. Single markers went to Carey Levesque, Casey McDonald and Ben Wourms-Rowe, while Jaxon Georget had two helpers.

The Generals fired 38 shots at Beardy's and went 1-for-7 on the power play.

While Moose Jaw's final record of 17-24-2-1 was far from what they had hoped for and expected, there was a major positive: Wareham saw a ton of improvement from his players, to a man. And as a developmental league, that's what it's all about.

“It was frustrating to have a losing season, but every one of our guys is leaving here a better player than when they came and we're proud of that,” Wareham said. “Don't get me wrong, I like to win, but we want to get them to where they want to get and that's playing junior. So we're happy with the progress of the guys as individual, it just didn't come together as a group and that's a little disappointing.”

The season has an additional turn in that it'll likely be the last for Wareham behind the bench. After 17 season working as the head coach and general manager, he plans to hand off duties to a new head coach in the near future, ideally promoting from within.

“I'm stepping back from the coaching side of it, I'll still be a part of the managerial side of it,” Wareham said. “So we're hoping to have an announcement by March or so... it's been long enough, it's time for a new voice and I have some other things in the works. So we'll see what happens, but I'm sure whoever takes over will do a great job.”

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