2003 - 2004
March 24, 2004
Perry payback lifts Generals
Generals - 2
Grrrowl - 1
BY KEITH TOLBERT
Special to the News & Record
GREENSBORO - The Greensboro Generals were certainly glad to play their last game of the season against the Greenville Grrrowl.
For the second game in a row, the Grrrowl gave the Generals all they could handle, but this time the Generals were able to find a way to beat Greenville 2-1. The win was crucial for the Generals because it keeps them tied with South Carolina, a 3-0 winner over Florence on Tuesday night, for second place in the Southern Division.
"Sometimes it's tough to fight through the mental obstacles," said Generals coach Rick Adduono. "I'll give our guys credit, they never gave in. It says a lot that the effort was there because we didn't give up a lot of shots."
The Generals led 1-0 for most of the game, thanks to a first-period goal from Mike Bayrack, but one little mistake nearly cost them the win. With the Generals in a power play, defenseman Randy Perry was starting to bring the puck back up the ice near the Generals' goal. He lost control and the Grrrowl's Jeremy Kyte rushed in, pushing the puck between Generals goalie Jamie Hodson's pads to forge a tie at 1-1.
But Perry would have his revenge less than three minutes later. Taking a pass from Pete Gardiner in the left circle, Perry beat Grrrowl goalie Daniel Bosclair high on the stick side to give the Generals the lead again at 2-1 with 6:15 to play.
"Obviously, I felt responsible (for giving up the tying goal)," Perry said. "If I had a chance to get it back, I had to do it."
Adduono said it was probably the first miscue Perry has made since he was acquired in a trade about three weeks ago.
"He rarely makes a mistake, but he lost control," Adduono said. "We didn't let it faze us. Randy really deserved that (the winning goal) for all he's done for this team since he's been here."
Any scoring that Perry gives the team is always a plus because that is not why Adduono gave up Tom Reimann's right to acquire Perry.
"That's what this team really needed was a more responsible defenseman," Adduono said. "I'll take a guy like that any day. It just goes to show you that goals and assists don't always win hockey games."
Perry said that in his short time with the Generals he has been very impressed with their offensive work and that makes his job all the more important.
"We have very strong forwards. Once they get that first goal, they start roiling," Perry said. "I bring stability to our defensive zone. I want to make sure they know they can rely on me."
The difficult road to the playoffs continues for the Generals, as they play back-to-back road games for the second week in a row, this time in Trenton beginning Thursday. After that trip, the Generals return to the Greensboro Coliseum for their final two home games on Sunday and Tuesday.
"There is no easy way in (to the playoffs)," Adduono said. "We've got to get a spot solidified."
Generals - 2
Grrrowl - 1
Site: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro
Why the Generals won: Lacking the zip they had on Monday night, the Generals used solid defense and goaltending to keep them in the game. A goal by defenseman Randy Perry won it with 6:15 to play.
Stars: Greensboro - Randy Perry one goal, Mike Bayrack one goal, Jamie Hodson 24 saves. Grrrowl - Daniel Bosclair 41 saves.
The play: With the game tied at 1-1, Pete Gardiner found a wide-open Randy Perry in the left circle and Perry ripped a shot high on the stick side for the game-winner.
What they said: "We had a lot of penalties against us in the first period, but we came through." - Rick Adduono, Generals coach
Records: Greensboro 38-27-1-77. Opponent 14-48-5-33