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Coach's Corner #21

with Springfield Falcon's Asst. Coach Phil Russell

The day has been spent getting the men ready for Lowell, Hartford and Norfolk. Bring it on! Olympic hockey fans have been treated to some wonderful games in Torino, Italy and the eight remaining teams are set to go. USA, Finland, Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland final 8 of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Switzerland is definitely the surprise of the tournament, and yes, they have had superb goaltending. The host country Italy, Germany, Latvia and Kazakhstan were sent packing early. By now, you know who has won medals. Here's hoping my home country of Canada brings home the gold but I think the favorite in the Men's Division has to be Finland as they have been so good without the puck and have 4 out of 5 shutouts.

Equal representation to the ladies has the US gals getting bronze, the Swedes the silver and the Canadian's with the gold outscoring the field 48-2.

An American satirist Ambrose Bierce once said, "The gambling known as business looks with severe disfavor on the business known as gambling." Like any vice, it demands a pound of flesh for every ounce of pleasure. The great game of hockey could certainly do without this kind of publicity. The whole gambling thing with the NHL is something we hope is settled quickly.

While I'm getting these things off my chest I may as well go for the gold before I erase this article. Simply put, our #22 Chris Dingman has done everything asked of him since being assigned to the Falcons. If the younger, less experienced players are not eating this up they sure should be.

I mentioned that the Falcons won their first two games of the weekend and traveled to Lowell for the third game. We didn't start off well and the Lock Monsters had lots of jump, but we were in the game for sure. Dinger got dinged three times in that game with one shot splitting the skin on his ankle. Hopping all over the place he gave his all, which a lot of the men have this year. My point is if you are not laying it out every time you play you are not just hurting yourself, you are shortchanging your teammates. Six out of six points on the weekend for a few weekends in a row would certainly move the Falcons up the ladder. This is where we are headed one way or the other. The man in the mirror will answer your questions for you, now or later.

Herb Brooks said in "Miracle on Ice: that "this is your time," don't let that time pass. One of my other great mentors Bob Johnson always said, "It's a great day for hockey." He was and is so right.