Game 39: Kowalsky Quotebook

You guys got 13 shots for the entire game…do you feel fortunate to come away with the win tonight?

“Yeah.  I thought tonight was — not that he hasn’t played well for us — but Coleman won that game for us tonight.  The funny thing about it was the chances we did have were golden opportunities.  I thought we could have maybe even had two more in the first.  Gunderson walks right in and misses the net, and then I think one ricocheted off his knob or something.  We didn’t play well tonight.  I thought we protected…in the third period, they came pretty hard and threw everything at the net.  But, bad as we were, I thought we protected the front of our net pretty good.  I mean the first goal, we put in.  We knocked that one in the net.  We just didn’t support the puck well, we didn’t execute well and we looked a little flat.  Maybe that was the break, I don’t know.  But (Coleman) came up real big for us, made some huge saves.  That one point shot at the end, Henkel actually tipped that.  I had a perfect view of it, it was going top shelf and with that quick glove, he got a piece of it.  I don’t know if it ended up going off the crossbar or what, but that was a reaction save and a heck of a save.  But you know, again, we find a way to get it done.  I don’t think we really gave up a lot of really good opportunities until the third.  There were scrambles in front, but I thought there were a lot of times we tied up sticks and managed to get the puck.  But they were definitely the better team.”

Was Elmira doing anything defensively that held you guys to such a low shot total?

“No, we just didn’t have our legs, we were flat.  We didn’t move the puck well, we didn’t support the puck well.  At times, we had one guy forechecking and our other two forwards weren’t going, or we had two guys going and our third one wasn’t going.  Our dumps were terrible the first two periods.  You can’t just throw the puck in, you’ve got to do it with a purpose.  You’re just giving it back to them, their goalie sets it up and away they come.  It was nice to see us win a game when we didn’t play our best, we were flat tonight.”

Must be nice to get two more points in a tight divisional race…

“They’re all going to be huge.  Everybody but Reading is playing in our division, so whoever wins gets points.  As far as I know, there were no overtime games, so no free points tonight.  Not only do we gain two points on these guys, we gain two points on Dayton and gain two points on Johnstown, since Wheeling beat Johnstown.  This thing’s tightening right up here, and I don’t see anybody running away with it now.  It’s going to be a battle every night.  We started at the bottom of the ladder here, and we’ve just got to keep winning.”

You play Johnstown tomorrow night and have beaten them three times…think this success will carry over?

“We’ve definitely got to be better than we were tonight.  I think hopefully we’ve got the All-Star break legs out tonight.  It’s a favorable schedule for us right now.  They’re coming from Johnstown and we’re at home in our own beds tonight, and we don’t play Sunday.  We’ve got to come out with a little more energy and initiate the play and get the forecheck going early tomorrow and hopefully maybe catch them a little bit tired, knowing that we don’t have to play Sunday.  So you’ve got to take advantage of the schedule, especially at home.”

You’ve had some games where you’ve been the harder working team and haven’t come away with the win.  How is it to come out on the other end of one like this?

“It’s good.  I thought it was a frustrating game for everybody.  But we still took away some good opportunities, and at the end of the day, Colesy was huge for us back there.  We knew they were going to come hard, and they had some new guys in the lineup…Johnson and Weller were both good tonight, I thought.  On the other side we were opportunists with our chances, but we could have had two more goals coming out of the first.  That’s the other side of it.  Yeah, we got outworked, but we still won.  But we’re taking advantage of our opportunities when we get them.”

Are you going back to Coleman tomorrow?

“Yes.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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