That’s much better.
After having lost eight straight games in opening weekends — dating back to the first game of the 2007-08 season — Trenton finally put one in the win column. Seemed like it was going to be a blowout early, as Royals goalie Adam Courchaine couldn’t do much of anything to stop the Devils early on. Ben Scrivens stopped the bleeding to an extent, but the damage had already been done.
It almost seemed as though they were going to blow it, though. Reading turned a 4-0 deficit into a 5-4 game with 3:53 to go, and should be lucky that Robert Slaney so gloriously botched a breakaway shortly thereafter. After Ryan Ginand finally converted on his second empty net chance, the game was sealed and Trenton got their first two points much earlier than they usually do in the season.
I’ll shut up and tell you what Trevor Kell and Kevin Dean had to say after the big win…
“Going into the game tonight, we knew we had to come out tonight with a big jump. Last night, they came out and I don’t think we were really ready for it. We kind of sat back and they took it to us for the first period. We knew what we had to do tonight and it worked out.”
“The first one, I just kind of intercepted a pass. I couldn’t get the puck to settle down and I was kind of far out, so I saw the D stepping up on me so I just decided to get it to the net and luckily it went in. The second one, Ginand made a great pass to me and we had a 2-on-1. The D kind of favored the pass, so I had a good shooting lane there, and I just kind of picked the corner.”
“Especially with a lot of the younger guys coming in here, we don’t want to get off to an 0-2 start, especially at home and against a team that’s in our division. We’re going to be seeing a lot of them this year, and to get two points from them is going to be key not only now but in the long run. We don’t want to be looking back and be regretting losing these games here.”
On how the lineup changes affected them…
“I thought it was good. Kang, I was very impressed with him in the first period, his pace is high. That’s another thing we want to do, get the pace up. I thought that was good. I thought Jordon Southorn played a really strong game; strong around the net, strong on the pucks, he made strong plays. That helped for sure.”
On Reading’s slow comeback…
“We kind of started doing what we were doing last night. Pucks were coming through the middle, we weren’t supporting the puck. You get the puck on the wall, and if someone’s not coming over to support you, then you have to throw it to the middle. Ideally, you want someone coming over and you want to chip it down the wall and he can skate into it. Once we got back to that…when we did that, we were in good shape when we were going down the middle and it was trouble.”
On if they took their foot off the gas pedal…
“A little bit. Those are hard, tough games to play. You’re up three or four goals and you’re tired because it’s the second game in two nights, a day in a half. Those are tough, but that’s even more reason you’ve got to bare down and do what you planned out to do.”
On his first win as a head coach…
“It feels good. I wish it would have been a little easier down the stretch, but at the end of the day, our guys got it done. They did a good job. They worked hard, the credit all goes to them.”
On Jeff Lerg…
“I thought he was great. He made all the stops he should stop and he made a couple other ones. For me with goaltenders, that’s all I want; stop the ones you should stop. If there’s a breakaway and the guy puts it in, it’s not his fault. He’s made the stops he should stop and the rest is on us.”
On if it was difficult to sit Ryan Hayes…
“It was. He’s a young kid, and there’s some older guys that we weren’t real thrilled with. We talked to them about that before the game today, and they all responded. I just wanted to get some pace to the game today, and I knew Kang would do that. Kang deserved a shot, he had a great training camp. It has nothing to do with Hayes’ game, it was just a matter of trying to get everyone in the lineup to start.”
On T.J. Miller…
“He was a healthy scratch.”
Updates on injured players…
“Burnett’s going to be out for a while, he’s on the 21-Day. His back’s getting better, but it’s…that hip thing, it’s not quite there. Vichorek’s coming along. He could be ready for the weekend, I think. Vokes is going to be a while.”
— I’m not sure if 1,420 is the all-time lowest attendance for a Trenton hockey game, but it sure has to be up…errr, down there. And there might have been an extra “1” in there. Shame after the nice turnout from last night.
— I’d have to think Jeff Lerg has earned himself another start against Wheeling in Johnstown. My concern — and maybe it isn’t a valid one because he almost has to play this way to be successful — was that he was a little too scrambly out there. On at least two of those goals, he was completely overcommited on the play and had no shot.
— I was surprised that T.J. Miller wasn’t in the lineup tonight. I was shocked to see he was a healthy scratch. Given his prospect status, I thought he was invincible. Guess not.
— Enjoyed seeing Justin Coutu stand up for Jeff Prough after Olivier Labelle’s spear. Coutu’s a good team guy, and he picked a good, intelligent spot to show it. Labelle runs around a lot, and it was good to see he was sent a message.
— You can look at the scoresheet and figure this out as well, but real, real strong games out of T-Kell and Ryan Ginand. I think Ginand has been Trenton’s best player through two games. If Dean wants pace, Ginand is the perfect man for the job. With that said, I agree that Matt Kang had a nice game as well. I didn’t think Hayes deserved to sit, but there weren’t many options when it came to getting Kang in there.
— “She’s A Beauty” by The Tubes was playing in the locker room after the game. I need to shake the hand of whoever put that on the playlist…that’s an excellent, underrated song.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com