— The Flint Junior Generals played the Peoria Mustangs better on the road last weekend than they did at home three weeks ago.
Or maybe the Generals are just playing better overall now.
Flint split with the Mustangs this time, losing Saturday’s game, 6-4, then rallying to win Sunday’s game, 6-4, at Owens Rec Center. Three weeks earlier, the Generals lost both games to Peoria at home, scoring just one goal in each game.
Flint has won eight of its last 11 games to improve to 12-14-1 after an 0- 6 start. The only three losses in that run are to Peoria, the fourth-place team in the North American 3 Hockey League.
The Generals nearly pulled out Saturday’s game as Charles Chamberlain scored twice in the third period to tie the contest, 4-4. His powerplay goal on an assist from Swartz Creek’s Andrew Lay made it 4-3 with 13 minutes to go, and he tied it on an assist from Mason Boehlinger with 4:07 left. But Peoria scored twice in the last 3:29 to win it.
Chamberlain also had an unassisted goal in the first period to give him a hat trick. Jacob Taylor also scored unassisted in the first to give Flint its only lead, 2-1. The teams had 36 shots on goal each.
On Sunday, the Generals scored three unanswered goals in the third period to hand the Mustangs only their sixth loss of the season. Warren Carter had two of the scores, the first unassisted at 3:51 and the last one a short-handed, emptynet goal at 19:33. In between, Lay scored the go-ahead goal unassisted at 6:56 to put Flint up, 5-4.
Nicholas Szalacinski scored the Generals’ first goal, on assists from Lay and Carter, to tie the game 1-1 at 9:26 of the first period. Chamberlain then put Flint ahead at 16:26 on an assist from Goodrich’s Joe McAuliffe.
McAuliffe and Conner Enciso assisted on the next score, a powerplay goal by Nathan Scurfield to make it 3-1 just 54 seconds into the second period. But Peoria poured in the next three goals to take a 4-3 lead into the third.
Carter, Lay and Szalacinski were the three stars of the game. Austin Willenborg had 28 saves in net.
The Generals will visit Toledo on Saturday, then host the Metro Jets at 7:20 p.m. next Tuesday. That will be Flint’s last home game until Jan. 22.