Initial Impression
Efb January 8, 2010

Coach Dean

Tonight was a great win for the team as the victory was a total team effort. We gained important points in the standings, but even more importantly confidence and momentum after the past 2 games.

Esbjerg played well in the first period and really attacked our goal with bodies and pucks. Brian Greer did an outstanding job of keeping the pucks out of the net, and also continually having to work around players who ‘accidentally’ fell on top of him. This is not a surprise, and to their credit we expect Esbjerg to play us hard and battle in front of our goal. After they scored the initial goal early in the game, we were able to tie the game on a Power Play after a series of good tape to tape passing and puck movement that resulted to a good shot and deflection by Rudisuela.

It was important to start the second period like we finished the first. We did a good job of forcing the play before the red line, preventing Esbjerg from getting an easy entry into our zone. Gunnarsson, Lilholt, Eriksen made a great decision on a faceoff play, where Claus found himself all alone in the slot, where he scored with a great shot to the far side. Unfortunately, they tied the game later in the period. I am not sure which was worse 1) the referee allowing an obvious hooking penalty on our player in a potential scoring situation., or 2) the linesman being out of position to get in the way of a pass to our defensemen which led to a 3 on 1 Esbjerg rush while already Penalty Killing. This was a great break for Esbjerg, and not so enjoyable for us. Our players did a great job of not dwelling on the situation, and continued pushing forward.

Entering the third period tied on the road is a great situation, as we now condense the effort to a 20 minute game. Essentially win a period – win a game. We had some excellent opportunities especially on the Power Play. They moved into a more aggressive approach than they had used in the past, and we were able to deliver some point blank scoring chances at the goal , and some good shots from the Blue Line as well. The Esbjerg Goalie was equal to the task.

The Overtime began with some cautious play, as both team were weary of making a mistake that may cost the game. The game opened up in the final minutes, and both goaltenders made some good saves, which resulted in no goals and progressed to the Shoot Out.

As usual the Shootout was an exciting affair. The first round of 5 shooters ended in a draw with only one Esbjerg Shooter able to beat Greer, and Ryan Huddy answered for the Bulldogs as the second shooter. Greer stopped Lysak and Lee in round 6 & 7 , and Huddy scored to win the game in his third attempt of the day in round 7. For those wondering why Huddy shot so many times, the rules in the Shootout in Denmark permit any shooter can be selected once the initial round of 5 shooters is concluded. In our opinion it is great to allow the same shooter to gain more experience against the same goalie and turn the percentages in our favour with the additional attempts.

Overall we had some great contributions from throughout the lineup. Most notably Gunnar, Lilholt, and Eriksen played an exceptional game, and played many great shifts against the top line of Esbjerg as well The Defence Corps had a good game as a group with Cody Bostock providing a physical presence .

The team will enjoy the win tonight and start the preparation process for Tuesday match against Hvidovre.

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

See Coach Fedorchuk’s Pregame Comments.

Game Summary