|Coach Stirling here!|
After opening the season with three road games (1-2-0), I had hoped that we would be excited to be home. Although it was a very hard week of practice, I thought we were prepared for our home opener with Manchester.
I liked our energy for a period and a half, but it got sloppy late in the second period and lost the momentum going into the third. Still very much a game half way through the third, we fell asleep on a long breakaway pass and gave up what proved to be the game winning goal.
Saturday versus Binghamton was better on many accounts, but we still "shot ourselves in the foot" with untimely mistakes that ended up in our nets. Although a loss, we did improve (baby steps) in a number of areas, but unfortunately, on this night, it was not good enough. Being a half-glass full individual, I could see progress. With little time to lament, we had to start thinking about Bridgeport on Sunday afternoon. This, I thought, would be a real test for us. Not only because of the two most recent loses at home (four in a row, overall), but because the Sound Tigers were a very good team.
Without Delmore (sore hip flexor), we went with a very young, inexperienced defense corp., but they were equal to the task in this game. Good defensive zone coverage and smart, quick puck movement minimized the amount of time we spent in our end. That coupled with outstanding goaltending (Ramo), timely scoring and very good penalty killing proved to be the formula in this one.
What I liked about the game (besides the obvious two points) was that everyone contributed in their own, unique way making this a team effort. There is a great deal of hard work ahead, but we improved as a team, got a couple of veterans (Healey and Milley) taking charge when we needed it and a gained a little confidence.'Til next week! Coach Stirling