Hockey: MC Generals show improvement versus Havre

The Miles City Generals took on the Havre Ice Hawks in a Montana Amateur Hockey Association conference game on Saturday night.  

The Generals (0-14) have had a rough season up to this point but head coach Todd Armstrong has confidence that his team is close to making it over the hump.  

“We showed signs of greatness tonight,” said Armstrong.  

Greatness could be an understatement when describing how the Generals played during the back half of the first period on Saturday.

After three Ice Hawk goals in the first seven minutes of play, the Generals answered back with some greatness of their own.  

Andrew Laasko netted a shot at the halfway point of the period. The Generals followed that up with a Joseph Skaggs wrister that found the back of the net with just 20 seconds before the break to put the Generals back within striking distance.  A quick strike from Laasko 30 seconds into the second period brought the game to 3-3.  

“You have to believe in yourselves,” Armstrong said to his team before answering the three-goal deficit. “Any time you get behind, if you don’t believe in yourself then it [a comeback] won’t happen.”

Havre made it 4-3 after a Trent Shettle goal but Miles City quickly answered with a Seth Hamilton goal on the Generals’ lone power play of the night.  

“We have been working on our power play a lot the last couple of weeks. We have a new system and they really executed it well tonight and put the puck into the net,” said Armstrong. 

On the defensive end of the special teams, Miles City was on the opposite end of a man advantage three times throughout the game. Just like the power play, they executed their penalty kill to perfection, killing all three of the penalties they faced on Saturday.  

Despite the special teams heroics from Miles City, it wasn’t enough to stop the Ice Hawks.  With two goals late in the second period and a third goal early in the final period, Havre held on for the 7-4 victory.  

Havre’s Ethan Roberts led the game in scoring with four goals. Miles City Generals’ captain Laasko finished with two points on a pair of goals, while Hamilton added a goal and an assist.

Miles City was outshot 56-27.

The Generals lost by an identical 7-4 score to Havre on Sunday.

Hamilton scored a hat trick for the Generals off assists by Dominick Merwin and Al Hunzker, and a trio of assists by Laasko.

Anthony Smith scored the Generals’ fourth goal unassisted.

Nick Thompson played the entire game in goal, recording 41 saves. He allowed six of Havre’s seven goals, the seventh coming with an empty net.

The Generals were outshot 48-23.