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Generals Take Season Opener With Win Over Lumberjacks

October 16, 2009 - International Hockey League 2 (IHL 2) - Flint Generals News Release

FLINT, MI - The Flint Generals, proud members of the IHL, hosted the Muskegon Lumberjacks at Perani Arena Friday night for the 2009-10 season opener. Flint is celebrating the 40th year of professional hockey in the city, while Muskegon celebrates its' 50th year.

The Generals kicked off the night's scoring with a power play goal from #15 Tyler Howells. The Generals had traffic in front of the Lumberjack goaltender Sebastien Centomo but Howells was able to find the back of the net. Captain Pascal Rheaume (#21) and center Tony Tuzzolino got the assists on the play.

Less than five minutes later, the Lumberjacks tied the game with a breakaway goal at the 7:56 mark of the first from center Todd Robinson. Defenseman Scott Gabriel got the assist. With Flint forward John Ronan in the box for hooking, Muskegon came close to taking the lead for the Lumberjacks with just over eight minutes to go in the opening period, but Flint goaltender Jean-Francois Labbe shut the door.

The Generals took the lead when Assistant Captain Tuzzolino got his second point of the night, banking a shot off the post at the six minute mark. Burke Henry got an assist and Rheaume got his second assist of the night on the goal. Late in the second, the Generals found themselves killing a 5-on-3 Muskegon power play but their penalty killing unit was sharp.

Both teams came out shooting and creating chances. The first excitement of the period came at the 5:49 mark when Generals right wing John Ronan and Lumberjack John DiPace dropped gloves after DiPace cross checked Ronan after the whistle at center ice. Ronan was assessed a five minute penalty for fighting while DiPace received two minutes for roughing and five minutes for fighting.

Flint fans were not happy when Muskegon caught a break in the late stages of the final period when a too many men call was missed by the referee. With one minute to go in regulation and down by a single goal, Muskegon pulled their goalie and the Generals Alternate Captain Greg Bullock took advantage, scoring on the open net from center ice at the 19:24 mark.

Goaltenders Labbe and Rob Nolan split the duties between the pipes with Labbe getting the win playing 46:46 stopping 31 of 32 shots faced while Nolan faced and stopped the only goal he faced.

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