2003 - 2004
January 29, 2004
Hodson gets 56 saves in Generals shutout
Generals 1, Gladiators 0
BY KEITH TOLBERT
Special to the News & Record
GREENSBORO - A few months ago when goalie Jamie Hodson returned to the Generals after starting the season in the American Hockey League, he said he wanted to get his confidence back. One hundred forty-seven minutes of shutout hockey have probably restored his faith in his game, and have definitely renewed the Generals.
Hodson stopped 56 shots against the Gwinnett Gladiators to lead the Generals to a 1-0 victory Wednesday night at the Greensboro Coliseum. It was Hodson's second straight shutout and the Generals' fifth straight win.
"I'm just trying to be solid," Hodson said. "As with any other player on this team, I want to keep doing better. I don't think I'm on the top of my game. I still have some things to improve on."
Coach Rick Adduono said he feels that the concept of a positive attitude is sometimes overused and should be replaced by sheer effort. He said that Hodson's work ethic has been impeccable.
"Confidence is the same as hard work and with hard work comes playing time," Adduono said. "Jamie has been giving that extra effort in practice."
It was only Hodson's third game back with the Generals after playing for Team Canada in a recent tournament. Adduono said Hodson came back with more concentration.
"He's very focused right now," Adduono said. "I give him a lot of praise. When he came down here (at the beginning of the season) he didn't come here to pout. He came here to play, to help the team, and to have fun."
Despite stopping a team season-high number of shots, Hodson gave a lot of credit to the improved play of the Generals much-maligned defense. The Gladiators had very few breakaway opportunities and were knocked off the puck on several rebound opportunities.
"The guys are starting to body up a little more," Hodson said. "In the last few games, we've given up a lot less good scoring chances. A lot of the shots are coming from the perimeter. I'll take those shots all night."
Some of the improved defensive play could be directly connected to Matt Turek switching from offense to defense for the last five games. Adduono said that the move, along with the return of Kevin Grimes, has allowed his defenders to focus on stopping the opponent.
"(Turek's position change) has given our offensive-minded defensemen, like (Tom) Reimann, (Geno) Parrish and (Kurt) Drummond, more time to focus on defense," Adduono said. "When you win five in a row, your defense is definitely playing good. Grimes coming back into the lineup has made a difference with his size and physical play."
After two scoreless periods, the Generals finally got on the board with just over two minutes gone in the third period. Greensboro center Derek Crimin dug a loose puck out of the left corner, skated toward the goal and wristed a centering pass to Joel Irwin, who beat the goal high on the glove side for the 1-0 lead.
That was all Hodson needed. He stopped 24 shots in the third period including a couple in the final 1:24 after the Gladiators had pulled their goalie.
The Generals moved to within one point of second place and three points of first place in the Southern Division. They will put their win-fling streak on the line again at the Coliseum tonight when they play the Charlotte Checkers.
"It's a credit to the players," Adduono said of the streak. "They've made a commitment. They gave up a lot of rebounds tonight, but were focused enough to not give up that big rebound."
Generals - 1
Gladiators - 0
Why the Generals won: Goalie Jamie Hodson stopped 56 shots and the defense kept the Gladiators from getting breakaway opportunities.
Stars: Greensboro - Jamie Hodson 56 saves, Joel Irwin one goal, Derek Crimin one assist.
The play: After a battle in the corner early in third period, Crimin came out of it with the puck and sent a perfect centering pass to Irwin who easily beat the Gladiators goalie.
What they said: "One-to-nothing wins are fine. I don't care if we win every game 1-0." - Rick Adduono, Generals coach
Records: Greensboro 26-17-1. Gwinnett 23-15-3