Ducks Get Split Against Generals
EUGENE, OR - The Ducks (1-0-0-1) opened their season this past weekend against local rival Eugene Generals (2-2). Since both teams play their home games at The Rink Exchange, the Ducks were considered the "home" team for Friday night's game, while the Generals were considered the "home" team for Saturday's game.
Friday's game came just two days after tryouts for the Ducks, which gave them zero practices and little time to skate together and get comfortable with their linemates. This lack of chemistry was on full display throughout the game as players constantly struggled to play as a team.
The Ducks held the lead on three separate occasions, but lackadaisical play led to a tie game after three regulation periods. After a 5-minute overtime in which both teams failed to score, the team's headed to a shootout. General’s goalie Carson Roisum stopped 4 out of 5 shots while the Duck's Jackson Howery stopped 3 out of 5 leading to the Generals winning the game. Goal scorers for the Ducks include returners Connor Rendell and Nathan Lutz, as well as Freshman Jack Geraghty netting his first collegiate goal
In that first game, the Ducks ended with twice as many shots as the Generals but had a number of costly mistakes and were outworked on several occasions. The coaching staff was not pleased with their teams performance, but coach Orr had this to say after the game: "This was a wakeup call for our team. We expect a much better performance from our guys tomorrow night."
After a disappointing loss the day before, the Ducks looked much better in their route of the Generals on Saturday. The difference was night and day in what was a convincing 7-1 win.
The first period saw several opportunities from the Ducks, but it wasn't until there were thirty-two seconds left when freshman Kirt Fortney put home his first goal as a Duck. Halfway through the 2nd period, Jack Geraghty would score his 2nd goal in as many games when he put home a rebound opportunity. The Ducks would carry this lead into the 3rd despite having several more scoring opportunities.
Connor Rendell extended the lead to 3 just nineteen seconds into what would be a period dominated by the Ducks. With a much better effort in the offensive and defensive zones, the Ducks saw their hard work pay off with goals by Connor Hoernlein, a 2nd from Rendell, the first collegiate goal by Austin Pultz, and another by Jack Geraghty.
The Ducks once again more than doubled the shots of their opponent and began to look a little more comfortable playing with each other. “Playing games without having any practices is always a difficult task, but the Ducks improved dramatically in a short period of time. It's clear that this team has talent and it should be a fun year for Ducks fans” Assistant Coach and former Duck Captain, Trevor Shott, had to say.