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Generals hurt by early deficit Bullies 3, Generals 2
BY KEITH TOLBERT
For the News & Record
GREENSBORO - Help wanted: Greensboro Generals team psychiatrist, apply in person with coach Graeme Townshend.
After losing to Atlantic City 3-2 at home, their fifth home game without a victory, Townshend said he is seriously considering bringing in somebody to address the mental aspects of the game.
"It's all in their heads," said Townshend. "Maybe we need somebody to work with their heads. I'm serious."
Friday night's loss was characterized by the same type of play that has plaqued the Generals (4-7-1) in their other home defeats. They played tough, but some sloppy puck handling in their end cost them an easy goal and then they had to fight their way from behind.
Townshend said he may be partially responsible for the play at home.
"Maybe I'm placing too much emphasis on it," Townshend said. "But I want to perform here in front of our fans. I don't think that's asking too much."
The bad luck started early for the Generals.
The Boardwalk Bullies' Scott Matzka skated into the Greensboro zone unchecked and got off a slap shot from near the top of the left circle. Generals goalie Bujar Amidovski looked to glove the shot easily, but it got away from him and trickled into the goal for the 1-0 lead with 17:11 to play in the first period.
Later in the first period, Greensboro took advantage of a power play opportunity. The Generals' Casey Kesselring skated behind the net and drew three defenders to him. He sent a centering pass into the crease with Brian Loney skating in. Loney ripped a shot that went between the pads of Atlantic City goalie Scott Stirling to tie the score at 1 with 45 seconds left.
The Boardwalk Bullies worked quickly to regain the lead with Matzka doing the damage again. This time he picks up a deflected pass near the Generals blue line and immediately scorches a shot by Amidovski for the 2-1 lead with 17:55 to play in the second.
The goal that ended up being the game-winner came about three minutes later wjth the Generals on the power play. Atlantic City's Stefan Rivard stole the puck near center ice and fought his way to the net where his shot was stopped by Amidovski, but Jamie O'Leary was there waiting for the rebound and wristed it over Amidovski for the 3-1 lead with 15:03 left in the second period.
Greensboro got back into the game in the third period When Chris Bell, Dan Passero and Chris Brassard broke away and made several quick passes, with Brassard scoring his eighth goal of the season to make 3-2 with 4:38 remaining.
"Heinade a mistake, but he went back out there and made up for it by scoring a goal," said Townshend. "Now, that's incredible leadership."
Atlantic City (7-4-4) is in its first year in the league, but were in fourth place in the Northeast Division coming into the game. "They pressured us down the stretch," said Atlantic City coach John Haviland. "They got the goal they needed, but we found a way to win the hockey game."
The Generals had two new faces on the bench for the game. Center Jasen Rintala was signed on Nov. 14 and was in uniform for the first time. The Generals also hired Alex Godynyuk, a former NHL veteran, as their assistant coach.