2003 - 2004
December 13, 2003
Aggressiveness pays off for 'must-win' over Trenton
Generals - 6
Titans - 3
BY KEITH TOLBERT
Special to the News & Record
The Generals' Alex Andreyev (center) pushes Trenton's Matt Zultek away from the puck as goalie Jamie Hodson keeps a close watch during the first period of Greensboro's 6-3 victory over Trenton.
PHOTOS BY KIM WALKER / News & Record
GREENSBORO - A night after being shut out at home, the Greensboro Generals came out with an aggressive game plan Friday night.
By establishing themselves early, the Generals were able to seize control of the game early in the second period and went on to a 6-3 win over the Trenton Titans. The win put the Generals (15-8-0) two points behind the first-place Florida Everblades.
"We felt like it had to be a must-win for us," said Generals captain Mark Turner. "We have to establish ourselves in our own building. We talked about it before the game. We wanted to go out and finish our checks. That was our game plan."
Some of that aggressiveness, however, put them in the penalty box several times in the first period. The penalty-killing teams and goalie Jamie Hodson did a great job and didn't allow a power-play goal by the opposition all night.
"We retaliated too much," said Generals coach Rick Adduono. "Sometimes that happens when you are trying to establish yourself. But maybe that was something that got us fired up and got us going. I would much rather have that than not be sharp at all."
Greensboro's Matt Chandler keeps the puck lust ahead of Trenton's Joe Rybar on a breakaway. The Generals are two points behind first-place Florida in the Southern Division.
All the rough play started after the Titans had jumped out to a 1-0 lead. A few minutes later, six consecutive penalties were called, so that someone from each team was in the penalty box for more than 10 minutes.
The Generals were able to take advantage of a 4-on-3 opportunity when Geno Parrish was left alone on the right side of the goal and Turner fed him the puck to tie the game at 1-1. About a minute later, the Generals would take the lead when Eric Fortier broke away during a 4-on-4 situation and shot high on the goalie's glove side for a 2-1 advantage.
"Everybody got involved and everybody was competing," Turner said.
The Generals added to their lead quickly in the second period when the puck got loose from a group of players in front of the net and Kurt Drummond jumped on it and stuck it in the net for the 3-1 lead. Matt Elich would add another goal in the second period as the Generals cruised the rest of the way.
The game was quite a contrast to the night before, when the Generals outshot their opponents, but couldn't score. Against the Titans, the visitors had more shots, but the Generals had more finishes.
"We created more traffic in front and we cashed in on our opportunities," Adduono said. "We talked about bearing down on our shots. We didn't give the goalie a split-second longer tonight and that made a difference."
Although the Generals gave up a lot of shots in their penalty-killing situations, Adduono said that is to be expected with a new style of play they are using. He said in an effort to cut down on players being out of position, and giving up too many rebounds, they have changed their philosophy and it worked perfectly.
"We're using a more passive penalty killing," Adduono said. "When you are too aggressive in the penalty kills, you get out of position. This is designed to make our positional play better and not get caught out of position."
But the strategy only works if the goaltender does his job. "You have to give credit to Jamie Hodson and the guys that killed those penalties," Turner said. "They did a great job."
Generals - 6
Titans - 3
Site: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro
Why the Generals won: The Generals established themselves as the aggressive team and definitely had more energy in taking a 3.1 lead early in the second period. They also got 45 saves from goalie Jamie Hodson.
Stars: Greensboro - Mark Turner, one goal, one assist; Maft Elich, one goal, one assist Tom Reiman, three assists; Jamie Hodson, 45 saves.
The play: Three minutes after the Titans cut the lead to 3-2 in the second period, Matt Turek fought for the puck in the corner and then sent a perfect pass to Matt Elich skating in from the circle to push the lead back to 4-2.
What they said: "When you take care of business in your own zone (on defense), you're offense is going to come." - Mark Turner, Generals captain
Records: Greensboro 15-8-0.Titans 10-11-1