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Westlock Senior Warriors stun league-leading Generals for first win of the year

Club will play host to Devon Dec. 11
WES - senior warriors IMG_0808
The Westlock Senior Warriors scored their first win of the North Central Hockey League season downing the league-leading Lacombe Generals 5-4 in Lacombe Dec. 4. The Warriors return to the Rotary Spirit Centre this Saturday, Dec. 11, when they’ll play host to the Devon Barons. Game time is 7 p.m.

WESTLOCK - The Westlock Senior Warriors winless start to the year, one that included three heartbreaking one-goal losses, is finally over as the club shocked the previously-undefeated Lacombe Generals 5-4 Saturday night in Lacombe.

In addition to it being their first ‘W’ of 2021, the Dec. 4 road victory lifted them out of the cellar of the North Central Hockey League and past the Bonnyville Pontiacs. Now with three games this month, including a pair at home over the next two weekends, the club is eyeing a mini-run to climb the ladder and improve on their 1-4-0-1 mark.

Captain Mike Ivey, who ended the Saturday-night contest with an assist, said the win was huge for the boys as the mood in the dressing room after the tilt was the best it’s been all-year long. Despite the defeat the Generals remain in top spot of the NCHL at 7-1-0-1, while the Camrose Crush are nipping at their heels at 7-1-0-0 and the Morinville Kings are in third at 6-1-0-1.

“One win is awesome and we feel good about it, but we need to keep moving. With this shortened season we have to go on a bit of a roll now,” said Ivey. “But to get a win like this, especially after some tough losses to start the year, feels deserved and it’s nice to get the monkey off our back.”

The Generals got on the board first, but a marker from Josh Kaliel with 6:45 left in the first period sent the clubs to the locker room tied. The second was all Warriors as Kyle Dronyk potted back-to-back goals, while Scott Ivey chipped in with a single to make it 4-1.

Undaunted, the Generals cut the deficit to two only 1:25 into the third, but Dronyk’s hat-trick goal at 11:32 proved to be the eventual game winner. The Generals got a powerplay marker at 4:21, then got within a goal with 47 seconds left on the clock to make it 5-4.

While Ivey wasn’t overly enamoured with the reffing in the third, he did give a shout out to netminder Jordan Brand who faced 36 shots on the night, including an 18-shot onslaught in the final frame. Meanwhile, Dronyk was named the game’s first star, while Scott Ivey ended up with third-star honours.

“I knew they were going to come hard in the end as they didn’t want to lose to a last-place team. It was probably closer than it should have been. There were some tough, tough penalty calls at the end of the game that made it tighter than what it should have been,” said Ivey.

“The line of Dronyk, Scotty (Ivey) and Blair Boulerice were just dynamite and were in on four of the five goals.”

With points in two of their past three games, Ivey said they’re looking to stay hot this coming Saturday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. versus the 2-5-0-1 Devon Barons — the Barons edged the Warriors 6-5 Nov. 20 in a game that went to a shootout.

Following, the club will play host to the Red Deer Rustlers Friday, Dec. 17, then hit the road to face Morinville the following night to finish off the 2021 portion of their schedule.

“We really want to get rolling, Devon is definitely a team we can beat. Hopefully we have a lot of guys available to play … we went to Lacombe with a pretty short lineup.”

George Blais, TownandCountryToday.com



George Blais

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