Sunday, March 28, 2010

A few minutes with...Dan Wildfong

The Brahmas head coach talks about the second consecutive playoff win against Odessa

After the nail biter that was Saturday night's contest with the Jackalopes, I spoke with Fonger as is customary this time of year. I have to say, I can't remember hearing Dan sound so pleased with his team as I have after the past couple of games. Here is our conversation.

Q: It was nice seeing the boys pile on behind Odessa's net when the final buzzer sounded. Can you describe the atmosphere in the locker room after the game?

A: The boys were excited definitely. That's a big win - anytime you win in overtime, it's big and exciting. We understand that the job's not over. We came to win two and we won two but now we've just got to focus on the next game.

Q: Let's talk about the penalty kill for a minute...Odessa had the man-advantage eight times and the Tony PK soured it for them all eight times. What can you say about the special teams play?

A: You know, I think the guys did a really great job. We made a couple of adjustments. When we did have a break down, Jaegs made a big save, so those guys blocked a lot of shots and I think we adjusted well.

Q: Odessa certainly had offensive momentum, out shooting the Brahmas in every frame. Jaeger
stopped 46 of 48 shots tonight - what more can you say about your net minder?

A: He's just in that zone right now...he's in playoff mode. He's really focused...he's really seeing the puck well and we're going to need that from him throughout the playoffs.

Q: During last year's playoff run, we saw Tyler Skworchinski really step up to the plate and put up scores when they were needed and doing it again this year. What can you say about having Skworch back in the line up?

A: Oh, it's huge and were sure did miss him last night too. He's a good penalty killer and a good face off guy. He does everything really well and he's a really key guy for us - he has been all year, so when he's out of the line up, it hurts us but we had a couple of guts step in. Young guys who did a good job while he was out but having him back gives us that extra firepower and he really rises to the occasion at this time of year.

Q: I doubt many people prior to the beginning of the series thought that the Brahmas would win twice in Odessa. Carrying this kind of momentum into NYTEX is huge. What are your thoughts on that?

A: We just have to play like we did on the road at home. We kept it very simple; we didn't panic. When we got penalties, we stayed focused. It's got to be that simplistic game against these guys. You can't run and gun with them, so we just have to continue doing the little things in order to make the series go the way we want.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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