Before I get to my Thunder Thoughts — whoops, wrong blog — errr…ramblings about tonight’s 5-2 loss to Elmira, here’s what Trenton head coach Kevin Dean had to say after the game.
“They’re a good team. They’ve got players that make offensive plays, and we fell asleep five or six times. That’s what happens.”
“I thought (we) played well for most of the game. They’re one of the more skilled teams in the league, but I thought we were right there. I don’t think they dominated the pace of play or the territorial or anything like that. They’re good enough that when they make plays…they had five goals, what…four of them hit the crossbar and in? They’re snipers, you know. We talked about it before the game, we can’t give them those chances. The first period, they had one scoring chance and in went in, off the bar. Then we fall asleep a couple other times and the game’s over.”
“The first game we win here, we probably will need a couple breaks…some big stops, something like that. For the most part, I thought we played pretty well. But we don’t have a lot of polish to finish right now, so you’ve got to play a tighter game or get some breaks.”
“(Elmira is) talented, but that’s exactly what we need right now, I think, is to play scared. Because when we’re not scared, we come out with a 2-0 lead and then all of a sudden we think we can run and gun. I think we need to play scared. I think we’re at our best.”
As a whole, that was actually a pretty good game…which you can already read about in The Trentonian. Lots of end-to-end action, not a lot of whistles getting in the way, and some quality scoring chances.
Thing is, as the game wore on, the talent difference between these two teams really became more and more evident. When Trenton has their full roster, they can at the very least compete with most teams in this league for a full 60 minutes. But Elmira is rather inarguably a more skilled team than Trenton, and when the Devils come in with a shorthanded and patchwork team, it’s really going to show over the course of a full game.
The Devils hung with Elmira for about 30 minutes. Maybe 40. But the Jackals made the most of their chances and Trenton didn’t, and they ended up with a 5-2 win. Andrew Sweetland again notched a hat trick against Trenton (a natural hat trick on three shots), and the Donati brothers tallied two goals and three assists. That’s their top talent, and it outshined what Trenton has left.
I felt like Ryan Ginand and Jeremy Akeson were probably Trenton’s top forwards regardless of whether they scored or not — watch the video (which I’ll likely now just link to instead of embedding since they inexplicably look choppy on here) and see how smart Ginand was on his goal, finding open ice and setting Ryan Hayes up for a perfect pass — and Hayes was solid as well. Honest question: Did Mike Potacco even play tonight? That’s not sarcastic. I saw him on the scoresheet but absolutely didn’t notice him. Kyle Kucharski actually had a decent game but occasionally looked physically overmatched, and Chase Watson and J.S. Berube didn’t particularly have strong games either.
Not real sure there was a lot Shane Connelly could do on any of those goals…but at some point, you’ve got to make the big save. Elmira didn’t really have a ton of Grade A chances tonight, but it seems like they converted on most of them.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com