2003 - 2004
October 24, 2003
Generals win with Fortier's hat trick
Generals 6, Wildcatters 5 (0T)
BY JEFF MILLS
GREENSBORO - A weary expansion team 926 miles from home playing the fifth stop on a brutal seven-games-in-11-days road trip sounds like a pushover. Easy victory, right?
Victory, yes. Easy? Not so fast.
Left winger Eric Fortier finished a hat trick 1 minute 39 seconds into overtime, lifting the Greensboro Generals to a 6-5 victory over the Texas Wildcatters before a crowd of 2,239 at the Greensboro Coliseum on Thursday night.
Matt Turek scored two goals and assisted a third for the Generals, who went to overtime after squandering a two-goal lead in the final 1:13 of regulation against the ECHL's newest franchise.
"When you look at the way Texas played tonight, they really cashed in on the opportunities they had," Generals coach Rick Adduono said. "Their goaltender was out of his mind out there. He just kept making save after save. But I think that tells you a little bit about our guys, too. Good things happen when you keep battling."
Texas goalie Davis Parley forced the Generals to keep battling.
Greensboro peppered Parley, finishing with a 64-29 advantage in shots on goal. But the 21-year-old from British Columbia, making just his second professional start, made an astonishing 58 saves in the loss.
A fourth-round pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2000 draft, Parley was in training camp with the Calgary Flames this year before signing with the Wildcatters.
"He was very good," said Fortier, a newcomer to the Generals from Quebec. "He made some big saves for them. In the third period we finally found a way to score, but he was very good."
Trailing 3-1 late in the second period, Greensboro finally scored on its 28th shot of the period. Fortier's shot appeared to deflect off the leg of a Texas defender on its way to the net.
Greensboro took its first lead when Fortier and Mike Bayrack scored goals 36 seconds apart early in the third period. The public address announcement of Fortier's second goal wasn't yet over when Mark Turner's centering pass from the left wing hit Bayrack in stride and he beat Parley on the glove side.
Turek added what proved to be a key goal with 6 minutes left. Turek took advantage of a giveaway near the Texas blue line. Parley got a piece of Turek's shot, but the puck trickled into the net.
Texas' Bobby Cunningham scored his second and third goals of the game in the final 1:13 to tie it.
Generals - 6
Wildcatters - 5
Site: Greensboro Coliseum
Why the Generals won: Greensboro struggled on the power play, but peppered the goal with 64 shots and scored six even-strength goals.
Stars: Greensboro - LW Eric Fortier 3 goals, 1 assist; LW Matt Turek 2 goals, 1 assist; F Sam Ftorek 4 assists. Texas - LW Bobby Cunningham 3 goals; G Davis Parley 58 saves.
The play: With 1:39 gone in the 5-minute sudden-death overtime, Bryson Busniuk carried the puck up the right wing and drew two Texas defenders to him. The defenders took Busniuk down, but not before he slid a pass to Eric Fortier in front of the net. Fortier snapped the game-winning shot into the net for his third goal of the game.
What they said: "People need to get out and watch this team play before it's not here anymore. Our regular fans are great, we just need more of them. This is a good team and they deserve support. They work hard, and win or lose they always put on a great show." - Rick Adduono, Generals head coach.
Records:Greensboro 1-1-0, Texas 1-4-0