Initial Impression
Herning December 12, 2009

Coach Dean
We came out of the gates just as we had prepared to do and played a great first period. The passing was great, the support was great, and the players were going hard to the net. We didn’t give up very much defensively and probably had more blocked shots than saves! After the period, we discussed the idea of playing to our own level, and not dropping down to match the play of the opposition, but rather force them to rise to meet us. Against a team like Herning who are patiently waiting for the opportunities to present themselves, there is a tendency for us to slow down.

As we started the second period, we handed Herning opportunities due to our poor play in the neutral zone. It was actually amazing contrast between our excellent neutral zone play in the first and our “summer hockey” play in the second. Like last game we took a penalty while shorthanded, and gave them another power play advantage. They capitalized on this gift of an opportunity and immediately rejoined the game.

The third period, we spent time controlling the play in their zone, but then again we gave up another goal while penalty killing a call for shooting the puck out of the rink. These are the things that hurt us, because they are like the unforced errors in tennis. The opposition didn’t make a good play to earn the power play and we just hand it to them instead, like an early Christmas present. We definitely had the opportunity to win the game in regulation but Herning did a good job blocking shots and protecting the front of the net. Of course, their goalie made some great saves when it really counted.

In the OT, they got a power play, and I though we had some big shot blocks from Mads True and Olafur Gunnarsson, and a couple of BIG faceoffs from Dan Rudisuela. Brian Greer made a couple of good saves, and when we killed the penalty we got some life back for the final four minutes. When we got our opportunity on the power play, I think we needed to have more movement to find the open man and force the defending team to make more decisions. It is important to get the shots on goal and players at the net, because we face a faceoff in the zone and we all know that every faceoff has a danger in it. In this case, the danger was Huddy to Falloon and game over.

In each of the past five games we have managed to take points. We also ended the first half of the season on a winning note, which was a goal of the team leading into the Christmas Break. We definitely had some setbacks early in the season, and the goal scoring ran dry for quite some time, but now we are scoring some goals and coincidentally we are winning games. Clearly, we need to score to win! We will continue to progress week after week and get stronger as we begin the second half of the season on December 22.

Merry Christmas and thank you for supporting the Bulldogs!

See Coach Fedorchuk’s Pregame Comments

Game Summary