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The voodoo that you do
November 21, 2001
By D.K. Williams
The Generals are kicking serious tail on the road.
They have won five, and tied one, of their last seven away from Greensboro. At home, however, the team is winless at 0-4-1.
Last Friday, in the team's most recent attempt at getting a win at home, the Generals lost to the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies 3-2.
"Same story ... over and over again," head coach Graeme Townshend said. "Maybe we need to have a mind coach in here. Maybe we need somebody to come in and work with them mentally because we do the same stuff that every other team in the league does."
"I don't know what more to do. I mean, what can you do? It's all in their heads ... maybe we need a mind coach or a voodoo guy or something."
"I want to win at home. I want to perform here in front of our fans. Maybe I put too much emphasis on that, but I don't See why it's so difficult to play in front of your home fans."
"I guess I'm going to have to continue beating my head against the wall until they either do things my way or my head splits open."
The very next night, the Generals took on the Grrrowl (8-6-3) of Greenville, S.C., in the Bi-Lo Center and got a solid 5-3 victory. The Generals kept the Grrrowl from getting. a single shot on goal in the final period.
The team continued to drive south on Sunday and salvaged one point in the standings, in an OT shootout loss to the Macon Whoopee.
YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN
But you can return to the arena in which you used to play and coach.
Graeme Townshend coached the Whoopee for two years before coming to Greensboro. Four Generals played with Townshend in Macon, and the game against the Whoopee was a homecoming of sorts.
"It's a little odd, Generals defenseman, and former Whoopee, Rob Sandrock told Phillip Ramati of the Macon Telegraph. "I have a lot of great memories here and got treated real well here. We wanted to come in and win tonight. We did get one point in the standings. But it was a little weird to be on the other side."
A SCARY MOMENT IN GREENVILLE
Generals, defenseman Dan Passero was knocked unconscious by an elbow to the temple in the game against the Grrrowl. David Kaczowka elbowed Passero and received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his conduct.
According to an article by Bob Castello of the Greenville News, Grrrowl trainer Chris Young said Passero was out cold for several minutes. Medical personnel had to do an external chest rub to revive him. Passero left the ice on a stretcher and was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital for X-rays, but Young said the last report he had was that Passero "was fairly chipper and talking quite freely when he got into the ambulance."
The Generals players decided to stay in Greenville and delay the bus trip to Macon so they could check on the status of their fallen colleague.
Passero, a 6-3, 215 pounder, was released the next morning and made the trip with his team to Macon. He did not dress for the game.
It will be interesting to see what punishment the league's Vice President of Violence, Troy Ward, dispenses to Kaczowka. Earlier this year, Ward suspended General Shaun Peet 18 games for fighting. Peet did not knock anyone out.
HELP FOR BLUELINERS
Coach Townshend finally got an assistant coach — and what an assistant! Veteran NHL defenseman Alex Godynyuk joined the team before last Friday's home contest. After an 11-year playing career, Godynyuk retired last month and was invited by the Carolina Hurricanes to be an advisor for their first-round draft choice, Igor Knyazev. The Ukraine native played 223 NHL games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers and Hartford Whalers.
"His playing experience speaks for itself," said Townshend. "He'll be able to pass that along to some of our younger guys. I can't wait to stand behind the bench with him."
The Generals look to get their first home win of the season Tuesday night against the same Grrrowl. They then travel to Roanoke for a Thursday night game against the Express before coming home Saturday, November 24 to take on the Whoopee in a 7:30 game. Incidentally, this Friday's game home game has been rescheduled for December.
(Todd Rourke contributed to this article.)