Two weeks ago, the Newark Generals were hammered 9-1 by the Westerville Warcats.
Since then, the Generals have turned things around in a big way, and they were headed for another victory Thursday against the PRPC Ice Prowlers.
However, because of poor ice conditions at the Lou & Gib Reese Ice Arena, the game was suspended after two periods of play with Newark leading the Greater Columbus High School Hockey League game, 3-0.
Newark coach Don Jennings said a compressor under the ice went out Thursday afternoon, and there was some debate whether to play the game. The game will be picked up at the start of the third period at 8 p.m. next Thursday in Newark.
“It was difficult playing in those conditions because the ice was very slow,” Jennings said. “It was hard to move the puck because it was so soft. All in all, it was a safety issue.”
After a slow start, the Generals (18-5-4, 8-2-3) took control late in the first period. Senior Jake Hoffman scored on an unassisted goal with 1:51 left.
The Generals made it 2-0 when Chase Cherubini scored with only 45 seconds left in the first, and he was assisted on the goal by Gabe Parini.
Parini pushed the lead to 3-0 when he scored with 1:32 left in the second. Ben Dickson assisted on the goal.
Freshman goalie Charles Smart finished with 12 saves in the first two periods.
The Generals have won four of their past five games.
“We have turned things around (since the Westerville loss),” Jennings said. “We played really well in the Pittsburgh tournament and the team (Westerville) that beat us 9-1, we beat them 6-0. It was a completely different game. We have really stepped up our game since that loss.”
As the regular season begins to wind down, Jennings said he likes where the Generals are headed, and the fact they still have a chance of winning a league title.
Newark only is four points behind Hilliard and Westerville for first place in the GCHSHL.
“In reality, right now we are fighting for first place. We are right there,” Jennings said. “We have every possibility of taking first place in our league, and yet our expectations have been so high this year that we don’t recognize that we are doing that well. We have such a good team and when we falter, it feels like we are really faltering.
“But in reality, this team is good. We have won a tournament, played really well in two others and we are playing well in our league. We just have had a couple of games where we let down and we are dissatisfied with that. Even the game (Thursday) going into the locker room with a 3-0 lead, instead of being upbeat and happy with our performance, we are still expecting more because we are always building. The expectations are so high for this program, and people expect us to well.”