Generals Fan
2003 - 2004


April 5, 2004


GENERALS CLOSE OUT 2003-04 CAMPAIGN: The Generals completed the final four games of the 2003-04 season, battling for positioning in the 2004 Kelly Cup playoffs until the final horn sounded on Saturday, April 3rd against the South Carolina Stingrays. Greensboro, who completed their second consecutive 40-win season, missed the playoffs by just one point, as the Columbia Inferno, Roanoke Express, Florida Everblades, and South Carolina Stingrays reached the playoffs, representing the Southern Division.


GREENSBORO - The Greensboro Generals missed out on an opportunity to further solidify playoff positioning following a 3-0 loss to the Florida Everblades. Florida, who now assumes second place in the divisional standings, moved into position with the victory at the Greensboro Coliseum in front of 4,586 on-hand.

A penalty filled opening frame, with both teams serving a combined 13 penalties, the Everblades managed a 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard. Florida (35-25-10) scored at the 4:13 mark of the period, when from the right hand face-off circle, Jared Newman sent the puck rattling between the pipes and netminder Jamie Hodson's leg pads to give the Everblades a 1-0 lead. Just a shade under one minute later, the Everblades would take a bite of the Greensboro (39-29-1) defense again when from the top of the circle Tom Buckley converted a John McNabb pass from the corner for a second goal. The Generals managed 11 shots on goal against Jeff Maund, Floridas starting goaltender.

A scoreless period for both teams, Greensboro was able to maximize its defensive play, and at the same time minimize the Florida shots on goal. The Everblades were held to just nine shots on goal, as opposed to six for the Generals. Greensboro faced a goal controversy when a Bryson Busniuk goal was disallowed because his hand crossed the crease before the puck.

The defensive battle continued from both teams in the third period, as Maund and Hodson led the way from their respective team's nets. With 4:13 remaining in the third period, and Greensboro missing the offensive spark, Florida managed to take the wind from the Generals sails on a goal by Brent McDonald. McDonald, who came screaming in front the center of the ice, netted his 19th goal of the season.

GREENSBORO - In front of 5,009 faithful fans inside the Greensboro Coliseum, with the Greensboro Generals battling for their playoff lives, and the South Carolina Stingrays win over the Augusta Lynx, Greensboro faced a critical home finale with the Gwinnett Gladiators. In a tough battle throughout, the Generals earned a tie at home following a 4-3 loss in a shootout, and completed the 2003-04 regular season with a 20-15-1 record at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The Generals (39-29-2) did not open the first period of their final home regular season in the matter in which they would have liked, allowing a 1-0 Gwinnett advantage at the end of play. An even strength goal by forward Gladiators (40-22-7) forward Eric Nielsen proved as the only one of 11 Gwinnett shots on goal to find net. Nielsen, on a pass from the right side by forward Brandon Dietrich, hit the puck top shelf past Jamie Hodson for the lone goal. Greensboro managed 10 shots on goal in the period that was filled with only one penalty.

Greensboro found its rhythm in the second period, as the Generals capitalized its offensive possessions with 15 shots on goal. The Generals also managed to tie the game at 1-1, when at the 3:15 mark of the game, Mike Bayrack made a pass between the legs to an incoming Matt Turek for his 20th goal of the season. Greensboro would assume the lead, when Pete Gardiner returned following a holding penalty, as he sent in a pass from Mark Turner for a 2-1 lead.

Hodson continued his strong defensive performance, but a rebound shot that went top shelf with him sprawled out on his stomach, again knotted the score. Chris Durno would take advantage of a Steve Slonina rebound shot just 43 seconds into the third period, tying the score. The Generals Bryson Busniuk responded with his 10th goal of the season, as teammate Eric Fortier pass from behind the net to an on-coming Busniuk who gave Greensboro a 3-2 lead. An extra skater put on the ice by Gwinnett, helped to tie the score with just 24 seconds remaining in the game, as Durno would prove costly again this time on an unassisted goal that was batted down by Hodson, as Durno converted the rebound.

A scoreless overtime period, Greensboro would manage only two shots, both by defenseman Kurt Drummond, sending the game to a shootout. In the shootout, Gwinnetts Steve Slonina converted the game-winner, moving Greensboro into a four-way tie for second in the Southern Division.

FLORENCE - The match-up now becomes a teacher against pupil, as Rick Adduono will look to defeat his former team in the form of the South Carolina Stingrays, and turn to some heavy scoreboard watching to get the Greensboro Generals into the 2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs. A 5-1 road loss to the Florence Pride, who closed out their home campaign, now has the Generals on the outside looking in of the ECHL playoff bubble.

The Generals (39-30-2) started off the game with a strong defensive effort led by Kurt Drummond, Geno Parrish, Kevin Grimes, and Randy Perry. The core of defensemen helped Greensboro to keep the puck in its own offensive zone, and at the same time create 17 shots on goal by period's end. At the 8:08 mark of the game, with Greensboro in its first power-play opportunity, Parrish netted his 11th goal of the season on an assist from Mark Turner and Pete Gardiner. Greensboro would maintain the 1-0 advantage until just under two minutes remaining in the frame, when the Pride's (30-32-9) Shaun Sutter penetrated the right side of Generals netminder Jamie Hodson for his 21st goal of the season, tying the game at 1-1 heading into the second period.

Greensboro continued its physical play in the second period, with defensemen Alex Andreyev and Randy Perry each receiving five-minute fighting penalties. The Pride would take its first lead of the game at the 13:15 mark, when Jeff Szwez sent his first goal of the period past Hodson, taking advantage of a Generals defensive miscue and a one-on-one with teammate Wes Goldie against Kevin Grimes of the Generals. Just over two minutes later, this time from the Generals defensive zone from the face-off circle, Szwez converted his second goal, giving Florence a two-goal advantage. The Generals physical game would not allow the Pride to get the best of them, as they continued to create 20 shots against Pride goaltender Matt Underhill.

Florence finished out their final home game with a strong performance, capped off by a third period goal by Jeff Szwez. The Pride took a 4-1 lead after the puck slide past Jamie Hodson and a diving Kurt Drummond to reach the back of net, as Allen Sirois scored his 16th goal of the season for Florence. Szwez, on his third goal of the game, put the Pride out of the reach of Greensboro with 7:31 remaining. His shot to the left of Hodson, netted the final goal of the game, as Greensboro turns it focus to South Carolina and the importance that now comes with getting two points in a win over the Stingrays. Greensboro must now also look for Augusta to rebound from its loss to Florida, and Greenville to upset a hot Roanoke team to make the ECHL playoffs.

CHARLESTON, S.C. - With the playoff scenarios simple and concise for Greensboro, with a Florida or Roanoke loss, the Generals would take to the road for the ECHL playoffs. The Generals did their part to earn the playoff spot with a 4-2 win over the South Carolina Stingrays, closing out the 2003-04 ECHL regular season.

With the Greensboro Generals season on the line, and a variety of circumstances that surround the possibility of a playoff berth, Greensboro came out with a renewed energy. The two teams encountered a combined six penalties, with Greensboro converting the lone power-play of the first period. South Carolina (39-28-5) took the early 1-0 lead with a top shelf goal that grazed over the glove of Generals netminder Jamie Hodson, by Dustin Johner. Mike Bayrack, the Generals leading goal scorer knotted the game with just 12 seconds remaining in the period and Greensboro in a power-play following a Stingrays tripping penalty.

Greensboro (40-30-2) came out in the second period with a physical style of play, combined with an offensive resurgence. The Generals assumed their first lead of the game with 7:27 remaining in the frame, as Matt Turek and Eric Fortier found Joel Irwin screaming in from the middle of the ice, sending the shot past Daubenspeck for a 2-1 lead. Just over one minute later, the Generals took a 3-1 lead in the game as Pete Gardiner used his size to work his in front of the Stingrays defense, and put a shot top shelf off a face-off won by Mark Turner. South Carolina answered with a goal of their own, when in a 5-on-3 situation following Generals penalties on Kevin Grimes and Derek Crimin, Dustin Johner converted his second goal of the game. The Generals would however maintain a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.

With only one goal in the third period, Greensboro would net an insurance goal to earn the 4-2 win in the North Charleston Arena. A short-handed goal for Greensboro, Captain Mark Turner found Pete Gardiner in the center of the ice for the Generals final goal. Greensboro finished the game with 25 shots on goal, as opposed to South Carolina's 27 shots.


POWER-PLAY SITUATIONS: Greensboro finished 13th in Home Power-play situations, where in 36 Games played the Generals scored on 31 of 168 opportunities (18.5%). On the road, Greensboro finished by converting 32 of 168 power-play opportunities (19.0%). For the 2003-04 season, Greensboro finished in 11th place among ECHL teams with 63 of 336 power-play goals (18.8%).

TURNER, BAYRACK FINISH AMONGST ECHL LEADING SCORERS: General Captain Mark Turner and team leading goal scorer Mike Bayrack completed their 2003-04 season ranked among the ECHL leading scorers. Turner, whose consistency throughout the season, gave the Generals a reliable scorer and assist man throughout finished ranked ninth in the ECHL appearing in all 72 contests with 78 points (28g; 50a). Bayrack who appeared in 68 games this season, finished as the leading goal scorer for the Generals, and tied for fourth in the ECHL with the Pride’s Wes Goldie with 36 goals.

PERCENTAGE POINTS: Jamie Hodson, who rejoined the Generals after spending time with the St. John’s Maple Leafs of the AHL, completed his season in Greensboro ranking second among the ECHL goaltenders in save percentage. Led by Scott Stirling (Atlantic City) with 1,302 saves and only 94 goals, Hodson allowed 81 goals in 1,063 shots on net (92.9%) while in net for the Generals.

ON THE DEFENSIVE: As they have done all season, defensemen Geno Parrish and Kurt Drummond continued their tough defensive play until the final week of the season. Parrish completed his season after appearing in all 72 games, where he ranks third in the ECHL amongst players at his position with 66 points (11g; 55a). His 55 assists ranks him second, behind only Corey Neilson (Pensacola), in the ECHL. Furthermore, Parrish found his teammates on 20 occasions for power-play goals, fifth best in the ECHL. As for Drummond, who also appeared in every Generals game, finished fourth among his fellow defensemen with 60 points (10g; 50a). His 50 assists, placed him fourth in the ECHL among the defensive leaders.

IN THE BOX: Fellow Generals defensemen Kevin Grimes and Alex Andreyev paced the way for Greensboro when the conversation turns to penalty minutes served. After serving 58 minutes for minor penalties, finished fourth in the ECHL. As for Alex Andreyev, one of the premiere ECHL tough guys, Andreyev would serve a total 22 minutes for major penalties, ranking him third most in the league.

"Coaches Corner": The Greensboro Generals have announced Head Coach/General Manager Rick Adduono will appear on the "Our Town" radio show (WGOS 1070-AM) each Monday afternoon. The half-hour “Coaches Corner” will air each Monday at 1:00 PM throughout the season. The “Coaches Corner” segment is part of the WGOS’ “Our Town” program that is hosted by “Buffalo” Jack Umlaluf and Ogi Overman weekdays from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. The show will feature interviews with Adduono as well as segments with Generals players and their involvement in the community.

Jon Cole
Media Relations Director
Greensboro Generals
(336) 373-7402 (office)