2003 - 2004
January 15, 2004
Slumping Generals fall to lowly Florence
Pride - 6
Generals - 3
BY KEITH TOLBERT
Special to the News & Record
GREENSBORO - Late night practices and late-night team meetings could be signs that the season has taken a downward turn for the Greensboro Generals.
One night after losing to the Southern Division's first-place team by four goals, the Generals lost 6-3 to the Florence Pride, which is in next-to-last place in the division and 12 points behind the Generals in the standings. And now they have to go on the road until Jan. 27.
"To lose three games in a row at home is unacceptable," Generals coach Rick Adduono said. "Some of the mistakes we've made this week we haven't made in a year and a half. It's hard to put my linger on it. We've got to put our finger on it quickly."
Immediately after Tuesday night's loss, Adduono had his team back on the ice for an hour-long practice. After the loss on Wednesday night, a team meeting went on for more than an hour and a half.
"We worked on our coverage, but our coverage wasn't that bad," Adduono said. "We're getting beat in one-on-one situations. We're getting outmuscled."
The Generals made some roster moves before Wednesday's game to help improve on both offense and defense. They released Derek Wendell and Dean Shmyr and brought Kevin Grimes back from the injured list. They also added center Derek Crimin.
"We made couple of changes we thought were positive," Adduono said. "Grimes' injury is still bothering him, but he's trying to play through it."
The Generals certainly came out with a new attitude at the beginning of the game and were the aggressors. Despite being down a man, Kurt Drummond and Pete Gardiner pushed the puck up the ice on a 3-on-2 breakaway, with Drummond feeding Gardiner, who knocked the puck in between the legs of Florence goalie Matt Underhill.
Mark Turner added to the lead with 6:50 to go in the period. After getting a pass from Gardiner from behind the net Turner took a shot at the goal and then took a shot from a defender. As he was going down on his knees, he managed to backhand the puck past Under-hill for a 2-0 lead.
But that was the highlight of the night for the Greensboro. The Generals gave up three goals in the final six minutes of the first period, one with 48 seconds left.
The Generals continued to be plagued by odd bounces of the puck, but Adduono said that can't be an excuse. He also said there has been a lack of fundamentals at times.
"You might call them lucky, but they all count," Adduono said. "The goals we are giving up are of the simplest nature. Things we've never done before."
After the Pride scored another goal in the second period to build a 4-2 lead, the Generals gave the fans some hope when Mike Bayrack scored a power-play goal with 12:49 left in the third period and cut the lead to 4-3. But the Pride came back less than two minutes later on a goal by Eric Naud.
Adduono said the defense is definitely his biggest concern right now and has been looking to make a trade to make the unit more aggressive.
"We have to be honest, we need an upgrade (on defense)," Adduono said. "I've been looking the past week. If Ftorek and Bonni aren't going to come back, I've got to add someone else."
PRIDE - 6
GENERALS - 3
Site: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro
Why the Generals lost: The Generals scored early, but their defense continued to hold them back, allowing three goals in the last six minutes of the first period. That would allow the Pride to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Stars: Greensboro - Pete Gardiner, one goal, one assist; Geno Parrish, two assists. Florence - Kyle Kidney, two goals, Luke Earl, one goal, two assists.
The play: After the Generals cut the lead to 4-3, the Pride came back less than two minutes later with a 2-on-1 breakaway goal from Eric Naud to seal the win.
What they said: "As a coach it does get frustrating when guys are just not smart enough or not strong enough (to stop their opponent)." - Rick Adduono, Generals coach
Records: Greensboro 21-17-1. Florence 14-17-5