Eugene Generals Catch Holiday Fever and More
Catching up with Cody Andersen
Since the Eugene Generals‘ 5-2 win over the Tri-Cities Outlaws on Dec. 8, each player has left for his respective home. Although there are no practices being held at the Lane County Ice Arena, each player is working hard to prepare for this second half of the season, while being able to relax in the confines of their home.
Since his return to his home town, captain Cody Andersen has been trying to relax and enjoy quality time spent with family and friends. One of Andersen’s best friends from home happens to be Generals forward Jacob Sheie.
“My best friend from home just happens to be Jacob Scheie,” says Andersen, “and so we will be hanging out all the time and getting some ice time together.”
Anderson is the Generals third leading scorer for the Generals and a pivotal component to the team’s success. To continue to stay into shape and improve during the break, Anderson says he will be running to keep his cardio up and, when he takes to the ice with Scheie, he will be working on his hands and shot.
Through the first half of the season, the Generals have a record of 11-6-1, and this break could be exactly what the team needs to make the push finish the season in first place. The Generals are in second place of six teams in the NORPAC Standings with 15 points, ahead of Vancouver (4 points), Bellingham (9 points), Glacier (10 points) and Tri-Cities (13 points). The West Sound Warriors sit in first place with 20 points and a 10-1 overall record. West Sound has outscored its opponents 94-24 on the season.
“The first half if the season went great, we still have things to work on, like some of our systems,” said Andersen, “but this break will bring us back fresh and really help us get some of the things that we need to work on going.”
Andersen, along with the rest of the Generals players, will report back to Eugene on Dec. 26 to prepare for an important game against West Sound, which will take place on the road Dec. 28.
Generals Showcase Holiday Spirit
The Eugene Generals have done their part to ensure that the Eugene community has plenty of things to be thankful for this holiday season. For the second consecutive year, the Generals have participated in the Pediatric Unit at Sacred Heart RiverBend Medical Center’s toy drive.
Towards the end of November, Generals players came together, with the help of Pediatric Unit Coordinator Theresa McCormick, and assembled 32 toy donation boxes. The toy donation boxes are being used to collect toys from around the Eugene Area to give to sick children who are recovering at Sacred Heart.
On November 24, the Generals had a Teddy Bear Toss. Generals fans came out to the game in hoards to support the cause. In all, 138 teddy bears and stuffed animals were tossed onto the ice and donated to the Pediatric Unit.
“Last year, when visiting, those kids really opened our hearts and we wanted to do more this year,” said Eugene’s General Manager Flint Doungchak. “Our fans responded big with the teddy bear toss and hopefully this brings a few more smiles to those faces. Those smiles are just so precious.”
After the Teddy Bear Toss, Generals players took an afternoon to distribute the toy donation boxes to local businesses that requested to be involved in the toy drive. After two and a half hours of delivering toy bins, every box was in its requested location.
“We delivered toy donation boxes last year to a few different businesses,” said Generals goaltender Gabriel Mier y Teran, “but this year we went to about twice as many places to ensure an even more successful toy drive. I know the guys don’t mind taking the time out of our day to do things like this, because it’s for the kids, and that’s what really matters.”
During the first week of December, McCormick invited the Generals to visit sick children that were recovering in the Pediatric Unit. The players reported to the rink and carpooled to the hospital eager to lift the spirits of the children. With them, the players brought a new teddy bear for each child that was recovering.
Upon arrival to Sacred Heart, McCormick gave the Generals a warm welcome for all their work and participation with the toy drive during this holiday season. McCormick briefed the players on the children they would be meeting; the ages of the children ranged from two-years-old to seven-years-old. As the players met each child and encouraged them a speedy recovery, they presented the child with a stuffed bear.
“It was a great experience. Each child was wide-eyed. Not only were they excited to see an entire hockey team show up to see them, but when they found out we brought a gift for them they took their happiness to a whole new level,” said Generals veteran defenseman Connor Bambico. “It’s important for us to remember that the excitement the kids had for the teddy bear would have never been there if it weren’t for our generous fans.”
After the Generals players met the children, McCormick gave the players a guided tour of the Pediatric Unit.
“Theresa’s (McCormick) tour was awesome,” said Mier y Teran. “She showed us all the differences between the way the Pediatric Unit and all of the other units operate. I was surprised that each child gets their own room with an amazing view of the Willamette Valley. Not only that, but the Pediatric Unit has the coolest play area I have ever seen in a hospital before.”
As McCormick finished her tour, she showed the team where the teddy bears and toys from the toy drive would be going once they were collected.
“There was a large room with shelves loaded with toys,” said Bambico. “I was surprised when Theresa (McCormick) told us that the Pediatric Unit only gets toys donated to the unit once a year, and it just happens to be during the holiday toy drive. After hear this, it made me and the rest of the team feel like we were really doing something good for our community.”