Saturday, March 27, 2010

A few minutes with...Dan Wildfong

The Brahmas head coach talks about winning Game One in Odessa

I spoke with Fonger about 15 minutes after the Brahmas defeated the Odessa Jackalopes in a 5-2 contest at the Ector County Coliseum. Here's our conversation.

Q: How did it feel taking the first win there in Odessa?

A: It was good. You know, obviously, we come in here knowing that we want to get a good start against these guys and this is the start we need, so I thought we'd limit their chances and when they did get their chances, Jaeger came up pretty big. I'm proud of these guys. A lot of guys stepped up.

Q: Pretty even play in the first two periods and then five different Brahmas score in the third period. Were you surprised by the amount of offensive output in the final frame?

A: Yeah, you know, obviously it was tight in the first two periods. I thought we had some chances; they had some chances. Once we got that first goal, it kind of lifted us and then Jubie gets a quick one...then he takes a punch to the head (Jubes does) and we get on the power play and get a nice power play goal. Those are things that lift the team. I think maybe we looked a little tired in the first two periods but we said, boys, just keep it simple...just keep playing our game. They did and we got the win. It's not an easy building to win in and the guys stuck to the game plan.

Q: Tom Steinel seemed to keep the whistle in his pocket tonight. Do you think that's a big factor here in the playoffs, you know, refs letting the boys play?

A: I don't think their were many calls to be called. I think they prefer to let the guys play a little more in the playoffs...our guys understand how good this team is on the power play so we just have to continue to stay disciplined. I think we're focused on doing that.

Q: Do you think having the momentum of the two wins against Corpus behind you helped coming into this series with Odessa?

A: For sure. Guys feel confident. They know what playoff hockey is all about and to get that win in that series - it really gave the young guys a taste of what it's like. Especially the guys that haven't been here before and obviously, the young guys really responded tonight. So, I'm proud of these guys.

Q: You have Brett Jaeger in net and he's definitely in playoff form. What can you say about Jaeger's performance - not just tonight but in all three starts thus far in the playoffs?

A: He's playing like Jaeger - he's a clutch goalie. The big thing is - he comes up with the timely's one nothing and they come in on a breakaway and he makes a big save. It would've been 2-0 and that would have really demoralized us but he makes some big save. We get out of the period 1-0 against us and then (in the third period) we get a big goal right off the bat and get a couple more, so he's just been playing really good. He's focused and this is his time of year.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

No comments: