Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, December 12th

This week was a pretty busy week for us as we traveled a lot with three consecutive road games.

We started off the week with practice on Monday and then got on the bus to head for Laredo. Like always, we stopped in San Antonio and had dinner at Texas Roadhouse – always a good meal. Then we got into Laredo and got some sleep and then got up to prepare for the game on Tuesday night.

This was another game where we played pretty well and had some chances. It was very big to get the goal with a minute left to tie the game and at least get one point down there. Obviously, it was disappointing not winning it in overtime, but at least to force the overtime and get that point is always big on the road. After the game we took the bus back home. We got in pretty late, so we had the next day off.

It was back to work on Thursday with practice and then back on the bus again with a four-and-a-half to five-hour ride to Tulsa. We stopped at the rink, dropped our stuff off, had dinner and then got some rest so we could get back to work on Friday.

Looking back on the game against the Oilers – the score doesn’t completely reflect how we played – I don’t think. We definitely made some mistakes where they capitalized and scored some goals that we didn’t score. But we definitely had our chances and had we scored on some of those chances, the outcome of the game could have been totally different. It was a disappointing loss, felt by everybody.

Obviously, when you lose a game, it’s a quiet ride back home. Coach is up front, watching video – occasionally calling guys up to watch mistakes they had made in the game. It was pretty quiet; the guys tried to get some sleep. We didn’t get into Bossier City until about 5:30 in the morning.

To finish off the week, we faced a very tough game against the Mudbugs, who have a very good team this year – a really hot team right now. For us to go in there and play probably one of our best games of the year, shutting them out 4-0, was a very good end to a busy week.

The Mudbugs are a very good team. They’re missing a couple of guys. Mangos on defense, who is a very good player for them - he’s been around for a while and definitely makes a different on their D corps. And then Justin Aikins up front, who is having a very good year – he’s out as well. That hurts them a little bit but they still have a very good team. They played a good game, I thought. They had some chances to score but Wayne Savage played a very good game and he made some big saves, which is always key to winning a hockey game. It was 0-0 for over 23 minutes and Wayne made some big saves up to that point.

Once we got the first goal, then we started rolling and got a couple more. Wayne also made some big saves in the third period. They (the ‘Bugs) might not have had their best game, but I thought after a disappointing game on Friday night, we came out and played one of our better games and when we do that, like we did against Colorado last week, we’re a very good team. We’ve got to learn to do that game in and game out and be that team to beat.

It was a totally different bus ride home versus the night before. The guys were pretty happy and there was a lot of laughing and hanging out. A lot of guys were playing cards in the back of the bus and watching hockey in the front. It was definitely a more relaxed ride than the ride to Bossier on Friday night.

Three out of six points wasn’t exactly what we wanted – we would have liked to get all six points, but it was a busy week traveling and we played a couple of hot teams on the road, so the three points out of six was an OK week for us. I wouldn’t say it was good, it was OK.

On Sunday, we had the Fan Club Christmas Party, which was a good chance for the players, coaches and families and everybody to get together. Our fan club has been very good to us – one of the best that I’ve ever been a part of. We had a great time at the party. As players, we really appreciate the things that they do for us. It makes it good, especially for a lot of the players who don’t have families around – the members of the fan club make it feel like home, so I want to say thanks to them again. We thank them a lot, but they deserve all the thanks that they get because they do a lot for us.

We’ve got a long week ahead – it kind of stinks when you play on Saturday and then you don’t play again until the next Friday, but it does give us time to rest and heal some minor injuries and stuff like that, so it’s a good thing.

We’re going to head for Allen to play the Americans, who we haven’t played in a while. They’re a team, kind of like Bossier – a very good, very skilled team. We’ve played them a few times and struggled, so with the rivalry, I look at this as a very, very important game for us. We’ve got to start putting some wins on the board against those teams – especially the one’s that are ahead of us like Bossier and Allen. We’ve got to prepare and whatever we can to make sure we’re ready. It’s going to come down to us working hard. If we work hard and play our game and play physical, I think we’ll be alright. It’s when we get away from playing our systems, when we get into trouble.

We play Odessa on Saturday. They’ve struggled this year and we’ve put up a couple of wins against them which is good, but they’re definitely a team that you can’t overlook. They have a lot of firepower and they have very good goaltending. We can’t overlook them at all – we’ve got to be ready to play them just like a Bossier or an Allen team for sure. If we work hard and play physical, I think we’ll do well against them.

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