After earning a first-round bye, the Cochrane Generals managed to split the first pair of opening games in their second-round match up with the Medicine Hat Cubs when Game's 1 and 2 took place on Feb. 22 and 23 respectively.
The first game took place in Cochrane where the hometown team came out firing on all cylinders from puck drop. Dean Olenyk scored the team's first goal just under two minutes into the game which led to a four-goal onslaught from the Generals, as they also got goals from Caden Chudleigh, Jordan Marks and Olenyk who buried his second of the evening. The second and third period was much of the same as Brandon Aab got his first of the playoffs with Chudleigh finding the back of the net for the second time in the game in the third period, giving the Generals a 6-0 victory. Erik Garber was sharp in net, recording a 24 save shut out.
When the two teams took to the ice the following day, both had done a complete 180-degree spin. This time it was the Cubs who got off to a quick start, scoring the game's opening goal on the power play. Brandon Aab responded with his second of the playoffs just four minutes later but the remainder of the game was all Medicine Hat, scoring four unanswered goals en route to a 5-1 victory and knotting the series at one game apiece.
Generals goaltender Erik Garber talked about the differences from one game to the next and how the Gens can seize control over the remainder of the series.
"In Game 1 I think everyone had a bit more fire in their belly’s going into the game," Garber said. "We came out flat (in Game 2) and never really got our momentum going."
"I think we've got to get our feet moving and finish hits to gain some energy going as we had in Game 1. We did that and played our game (in the first game) and it got the boys going and we were relentless out there. We just got to find a way to get the energy going so we can play our game."
Game 3 will take place on Feb. 27 at the Cochrane Arena with puck drop taking place at 8 p.m. Game 4 will go the following day in Medicine Hat.