|I apologize for missing last week's coaches' corner. I got so wrapped up with player personnel decisions and preparation for the weekend games that somehow time slipped away.|
The young and inexperienced Falcons completed a three in three weekend with two wins and a loss. A Friday night on the road in Providence was our first stop. Karri Ramo is sharp in goal, makes a number of key saves while keeping the Falcons in the game until they could chip away at a couple of Providence leads. The game goes to the shootout and Ramo stops four of five to seal the win. Corso and Healey score in the shootout for us.
Worcester invades the "Nest" for a Saturday night tilt and the Falcons respond with a solid sixty minute effort. It was a goaltender's duel for some fifty-three minutes before Blair Jones banks one in off a defenseman's skate to give us much needed lift and a 1-0 lead. Corso and Milley feed Healey on a pretty play to give us a 2-0. Worcester scores late to make a game of it but the pesky Falcons hold on. Boutin plays very well in goal and makes a number of very good saves at key times in the game.
Next state neighbor Hartford is our final stop of the weekend. This is a young, talented team that now through 40 games has developed into one of the best teams in the league. And we found out why...relentless pursuit of the puck, speed on all three lines and outstanding goaltending. Thanks to a 54 save game by Karri Ramo the score is still 1-1 with 13 minutes to go in the game. Hartford scores on a powerplay and holds on to win 2-1. Disappointing finish to the good weekend but yet another learning experience.
Three more games lead us up to the All-Star break, where the team gets a much needed three day break before returning for the stretch drive of the season (32 games).
Although baby steps, the team is slowly but surely making progress. We are not blessed with a ton of scoring so we must do a better job of minimizing our mistakes so we can (and it is possible) win games 2-1, 3-2, etc. Don't forget, NESN is carrying the AHL All-Star Game on Monday, January 29th, so you are able to see your All-Star, #31 Karri Ramo.
Until next week, Coach Stirling