By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Historians, get out your record books, this one’s official.
Despite an early weekend loss to the Ottawa 67s, the Oshawa Generals stormed through a pair of wins, beating the Mississauga Steelheads 6-1 and the Kingston Frontenacs 9-1 to surpass the team’s all-time regular season points record.
The Gens now dominate the Eastern Conference standings with 105 points, surpassing the previous 101-point record set back in the 1986-87 season.
“It’s very special,” says star forward Michael Dal Colle. “The franchise has been around 78 years and to make that mark is pretty remarkable.”
Nine goals against the Kingston Frontenacs was also quite remarkable. However, there was some disappointment from the Gens club when news came that the Frontenacs were sitting their topline, including Sam Bennett and Lawson Crouse.
“I wanted, and I think our guys did too, to play against their real team. It’s unfortunate, but we got the win and that’s really all we’re looking for,” said head coach DJ Smith following Sunday’s win.
“We wanted to see where we are against them…we wanted to see what we had against them, but I’m sure in the playoffs, we will meet up,” he added.
With only three games remaining in the regular season, Smith says he is looking for his club to finish first in the league. Currently, the Gens are one point behind the Soo Greyhounds, who currently sit on top with 106 points, but have a game in hand.
“It’s in our hands to finish firs. We’re going to have to win two against Belleville and a tough game in Kingston next week,” he says.
Overall, he said he is content with his club’s performance going into the playoffs, which kick off March 27.
“The big thing for us is to make sure we’re playing well going into the playoffs,” Smith says. “I think we’re playing well and everyone is getting a chance to play. I’ve rolled the lines for the last month and I’ve rested a few guys.”
Smith rested Michael McCarron in Friday’s loss against Ottawa and gave Cole Cassels a night off against the Steelheads.
One player not sitting was Dal Colle and it gave him the opportunity to set a career high 40-goal plateau, which he did in Sunday’s game with a one-timer off a smooth feed from Tobias Lindberg while the Gens were shorthanded.
“A game like that, 40 was kind of creeping into my mind,” Dal Colle said. “I can’t lie. It’s pretty special to get to that point.”
Oshawa has had trouble with the Fronts this season, dropping a handful of games to the club. However, Dal Colle says the Gens were out to make a statement on Sunday.
“We had a chip on our shoulder. I think any time you lose to a team five times in a season, you want to make a statement and I think we did that today,” he said.
For Dal Colle, he said he is looking to keep the momentum flowing in the final games of the regular season.
“Three games left here and I really think we’re gelling. We’ve got all four lines rolling…and we want to keep our foot on the gas here.”
The Generals kick off the last games of the regular season today, Wednesday, with a game against the Belleville Bulls. Friday will see the Gens travel to Kingston for a rematch before returning home Sunday for the final game of the regular season, once again facing off with the Bulls. Puck drop is at 6:05 p.m.