December 8, 2009

Coach Dean
A sense of enjoyment and in all honesty, a sense of relief. We have played to so many one goal games recently and its such a great pleasure to come out on the happy side of an overtime game. Overall, I thought we played a solid game at even strength. Obviously the turning point in the game came in the second period when we were assessed two minor penalties at the same time. Both of these calls were on non-scoring attempts and I was surprised that two calls would be made on plays away from the net when so much holding and stickwork was allowed on scoring opportunities up until this point in the game.

Nonetheless, their goalie made a great play on our line change and we got caught when they scored 5 on 3. More importantly, their second goal was the problem since we had an opportunity to send the puck down the ice. These are the little things that can come back to hurt us and in this case it did. We seemed to be a little bit tentative after that point for the remaining 3 minutes of the second period.

In the third period, our team made a great push forward and we generated some great quality scoring opportunities. I thought the shot selection could be better as in certain situations we need to take more shots that create rebounds. Rather than missing the net or shooting for the blocker, which is easy for the goalie to clear to the corner.

Having Mads True step up and score a big goal when the team needed it most (his second of the game) was exactly what we needed.

As we discussed throughout the week, we have to be wary of Brett Lysak, the best player in the league, directly in front of the goal. This was the focus point for our team and we did a pretty good job of covering him; but we let him get away at the most critical point of the game. Although it was amazing that when our player puts a skate in the blue paint (the crease) it is an automatic whistle and face off outside the zone; in this case the Esbjerg player skates in behind our goalie, through the crease, interferes with his positioning, and play is allowed to continue. I suppose at this point in the game, we should expect that the official does not want to personally impact the result of the game: however by avoiding making the call, he impacts the game anyways.

At that point it would have been easy for our players to put their heads down and feel sorry for themselves. Instead, they got some fire in their eyes to go out and seek that next goal. With the goalie pulled in the final 2 minutes, they made some great plays with tape to tape passing rather than panicking and shooting pucks all over the place.

In the overtime, I was pleased that our players wanted to control the play rather than giving up the puck on haphazard shots. With two fewer players on the ice, it is even more important to maintain puck control. We played smart in terms of avoiding odd man rushes, yet maintained control in the offensive zone to generate scoring chances. In the end, we scored a goal from the behind-the-net area which has been another focus point for our club.

We have discussed all year that we need to score 4 goals to win and tonight that was true to the word. Brian Greer was solid in net, yet again, and gave our team the opportunity to win. It was great that we could provide him with offensive support, even if it was later in the game. An overall good team effort as Gunnarson, Lilholt, and Eriksen had some big shifts playing against Lysak-Lee; Feddersen and Zink played a solid game again and seem to take great leaps with every game of the season. But most noticeable of our players was that they were hitting the ice to block shots as we continue to build confidence in the subtle, but critical parts of the game.

The players will enjoy the win tonight and then back to work tomorrow with our preparations for Herning.

Thanks for your support and keep checking back for more updates.

See Coach Fedorchuk’s Pregame Comments

Game Summary