Sunday, March 23, 2003
As one New Mexico Scorpion said to me at the end of the evening, "See you Monday" -- just minutes after one of Austin's people acknowledged, "this could go five."
No comments from me for now, just the participants.
Quotes from Bill McDonald
We came to compete. We want to finish the body, I think we did. We're not going to go away. We've come a long way and we just want to keep it going. The team went through so much adversity, to deal with me (coming in) and Dunner going down to Corpus Christi, Ambroziak and Brearley's injuries, three guys out for the year. It takes time to get back into the groove. I'm not saying we're the greatest hockey team, but we're playing pretty good right now. I really like the way they competed the last month. Heartbreaker here tonight, but we're playing a darn good hockey team, let's be honest.
on Adam Robbins, who has also played for him in Fort Worth and Lubbock
He's a gritty little booger. We were so banged up, we played some games with six seven forwards, so we picked up "Addy" and "Chico" Rech (Neal). And Jasmin Roy, who only got four shifts a game in Oke City. Everybody's got their role.
Quotes from Brent Hughes
I thought we played great tonight. Their goalie played outstanding. I would like to see us score some goals, gain confidence. But we've probably won the most one-goal hockey games in the whole league, so we know what to expect.
We made some adjustments. Smarty was checking Ambroziak [but tonight] I decided to go head to head with Pricer's line, offense against offense, and I think that worked well. Tyler Baines has been one of their hotter players, he had the game winner last night, so we had them checking that line, and that worked a lot better too. I thought Olynyk and Sharuga played outstanding.
On the 'invisible' Ryan Rivard
It's not his fault. He's an aggressive player, he's a fighter for us. Olynyk, Sharuga and Greenlaw have been doing good. But he'll see his ice.
On Brett Seguin, who's been noticeably committed to being "third man high" and covering Mike Gaffney's pinches
He's been cautious defensively. I've tried to build that into him. I know he's not a lover of that part of the game but I think he's realized that's what it takes to win. I think he learned a little bit from Parsons last year, in the playoffs, how well he played in his own end. We need that out of him or we're not going to win hockey games, and he showed that tonight.
On Gerald Tallaire's grit
He's really light and speedy, but he gets in the corners and mucks it out, takes some big hits. That's what I like about Tally, when we played against Central Texas Greenlaw and Legault had trouble with this guy, because he wasn't afraid to go in there with them. To win playoff games you've got to have a bunch of guys like that.
The guys come to play for him. He's a great coach, he has hard working hockey clubs. There's a reason why they made it in the playoffs, he got the players he needed together for the last 10-15 games, and they work hard. If we don't match their work ethic we're gonna be in trouble.
And in conclusion…
Tonight we showed we're here for real. I thought we took it to them in every aspect of the game even though they still worked hard and came to play. I'd like to put this game in a bottle, take it [to Albuquerque] with us and come the same way. We've got to start scoring a few goals off posts or rebounds, it's just a matter of time before pucks start going in the net.
Quotes from Tab Lardner
On his goal in the third period – credited to Shawn Legault – seconds after taking a high stick
It's good to get a whack like that, it wakes you up, gets you going a little bit more. The puck went in the corner there, I don't know who brought it out, I think Legs, Smarty took the shot, it was going a little wide, I just poked it back against the grain, got a piece of it I think short-side.
Friday vs. Saturday on the penalty kill
We didn't have too much poise on the PK last night, we were running around a lot, a little too intense I think, just jumping everywhere, wanting to get too much done. Today, we were a a little more poised and got the job done.
On opening night jitters after going so long without a meaningful contest
Oh yeah, everybody was nervous. I was shaking before the game. It was a lot of fun though. We played hard but came up short. They're a hard working team, they're gritty, they deserve to be in the playoffs ahead of Corpus and Lubbock. They'll be tough on the road so we've got to come ready. I like the position we're in now, go down there, win one or two and go from there.