With the season closing in Chicago for the 3HL's Silver Cup it is time to reflect on the past seasons work and accomplishments. Coming from nowhere this group of young men gave their heart and souls for the Blue & Gold. The work ethic shown by Coach Worltons troops was on display all year for all to see.
Highlights along the way were winning an extremely hard fought game against Cleveland on opening night in Flint. Vital to these highlights and in no way to be understated was a win in Cleveland in early November against the Lumberjacks who at that time where firmly entrenched in 1st place. In what was a galvanizing moment for this bunch of blue collar kids they went onto beat the Jacks without the aid of 4 of the top line kids on the squad. It made all the kids from top to bottom believe.
The second defining moment came in the Darien showcase against 4 formidable foes from the West. What a ride that week was starting out by Beating Peoria 4-1. Then in what was described by North American Hockey League people as being "the best game they had witnessed" beating the Granite City squad 3-2 in a shootout. Then beating a pesky Chicago Hitmen bunch 5-3. Then the final game of the tourney against the Minnesota Aces winning 4-3. On a side note during the showcase a significant injury happened to a young man which nobody likes to see. The Generals wish nothing but a speedy and full recovery for Ezra Mc Phail from the Granite City squad in his battle to overcome his ailments. Get well Ezra we are pulling for you. Now back to the seasons review.
Closing out before Christmas with a then team winning streak of 7 games the kids streaked to the first of 2, 14 game winning streaks. Both streaks which were also franchise records. The second half saw the kids come from being down at one point to then division leading Cleveland by 13 to winning the Eastern Division. Also on this ride was a 4-0 record in the Troy Showcase and in doing so it firmly consolidated the Generals in 1st place for the first time. Now leading the East and finishing the season that way were the goals.
With the first accomplishment done the playoffs were at hand. In a quirky scheduling situation the Generals closed out the regular season against our 1st round opponent the Pittsburgh Jr Penguins in Harmarville. In loading the bus going back home with the hard fought regular season Eastern Division and the Overall Regular Season Championship at hand. The playoffs where now looming.
Our first round foes where those same Penguins who came in ready. Also ready where the Generals in what was a great opening salvo the Generals won handily 6-1. The next night wouldn't be so easy however in a goaltender battle for the ages the Generals came out on top 2-1 with both tenders stopping over 40 shots apiece.
Next at hand where those guys from Cleveland. In what developed into a fierce rivalry the Lumberjacks came into town. In what were again 2 very hard fought games the Generals prevailed sending our bunch to the Silver Cup. The next weeks practice was intense and precise. We loaded for Chi town early Thursday.
With Friday looming and an important opener against the Toledo Cherokee the Generals got off on solid footing by defeating the Cherokee 2-1. On Saturday, St. Louis was this night’s matchup with the Generals coming up short 4-3. In what would be the season finale the Generals played the same Granite City squad we played in Darien in a hard fought contest the Generals lost 3-2. For the Generals not winning the Silver Cup was a disappointment but in no way diminished the accomplishments and the pride levels our owners, coaches and staff had with this bunch. Overall season accomplishments:
Regular Season 1st Place Overall- 73 points
Eastern Division Champs
8-0 Showcase Record
Franchise Record for Wins Regular Season 35
Franchise Record for Wins Overall Season w/Playoffs 40
In closing, coming from 9th place and not making the playoffs last year to winning the whole league then competing on an even level with the league's best, well to say the least , it was special and gives our organization great pride. With work already starting for next year it will be very hard to forget ever the commitment made from top to bottom from all.
The Jr Generals are: Gale Cronk-Owner, Kelly Cronk- Owner/GM, Jeff Worlton Head Coach, Ben Guzak- Asst Coach, Dave DeSander-Goalie Coach, Doug Bailey- Head of Scouting, Wes Bond-Off Ice Officials, Tami Bailey-Game Day Operations, Scott O'Dell-Trainer, Scott Thomas- Media Relations
The Players- Warren Carter, Andrew Lay, Jake Taylor, Nick Goettel, Cody Damon, Richard Jansson, Eddie Osowski, Josh Kestner, Kenny Miloser, Billy Kocher, Luke McDiarmid, Casey Bariile, Derek Compeau, Jimmy Odom, Jake Bearss, Anthony Terzo, Brent Formosa, Luke Dymytro, Joey Sheena, Bryan Davis, Tim Conser, Colton Thiel, Haydon Hansen, Phil Ballard, Alex Compean, Kenny Simmons, Ben Myers, Dom Orlando.
Special thanks to our little brother and biggest supporter Zach Duker - Keep working buddy.
With this rendition and voyage complete. It has been a privilege. Flint Jr Generals Hockey Proud Member NA3HL 2011-2012