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Albany 6, Phantoms 2: ?Some guys competed, others didn?t.?

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  • Albany 6, Phantoms 2: ?Some guys competed, others didn?t.?

    Something about Albany brings out the worst in the Phantoms. Both sides insist it’s not a specific matchup problem, but I think the closest thing to the truth can be found in the second half of this Greg Gilbert quote:

    “It’s all about competing and winning battles, paying the price, working just as hard without the puck as with it. If you don’t do that against teams like Albany that skate well, you’re in trouble. And that’s what happened tonight.”

    The Rats are fast. The Phantoms biggest problems are turnovers and not playing physical enough. As a good skating team, the Rats turn those two weaknesses into odd-man rush after odd-man rush.

    Jeremy Duchesne wasn’t strong Wednesday night, particularly early. But with the way things broke down in front of him in the second and third, this is one of those nights where even with Johan Backlund you’d probably only be looking at a closer loss.

    Both things I liked came from guys I expect to be bigger parts of the team next season. Ben Holmstrom scored his second goal in five games, and more importantly maybe, was the only Phantom plus-1. Then David Sloane, a guy who never fights, showed a lot of guts going with Brad Herauf, the Albany enforcer.

    If you look closely at some of the signings recently, you can see a glimpse of the makeup of next year’s team. And there will be major changes.

    Quotes

    Jared Ross

    On Albany’s dominance over the Phantoms:

    “I really don’t know what it is. They just played us well every time. I don’t think that we’ve been playing physical enough against them and letting their goal scorers do what they want against us.”

    On not carrying over the energy from the win over Hershey:

    “It’s been the story all year. Play a couple good games, have a couple bad games. *We just didn’t show up. They got off a to a quick start and we never recovered.”

    On Sloane’s fight:

    “Sloane’s been a great guy. He hasn’t really gotten a lot of ice time this year. Just to see him go out there and play hard to the buzzer and stand up for himself and our team, I think that was very honorable of him.”

    On the playoff race appearing to be over:

    “Playoffs aren’t out of sight. We can go out there make a run at it, win eight in a row, that will probably get us in the playoffs so we’ve just got to string together some wins.”

    On the injuries:

    “It’s been difficult, but it’s no excuse. We’ve got the guys in here to get the job done and we haven’t really done it as good as we could have. Our goalies have been playing pretty well, we just need to find a way to play better defensively and stop giving up so many odd man rushes.”

    Greg Gilbert

    On the general effort:

    “Early in the game, the first goal goes in, I’m sure Jeremy would want that one back. But you know what, that’s when you need to pick things up and go back even harder at the opposition. I don’t know if we had enough guys pulling the load tonight. Some guys competed, others didn’t. You’re not going to win with half a team, two-thirds of the team. You need everybody committed and we didn’t have that tonight.”

    On stopping Samson, who now has seven goals and nine assists in 10 games against the Phantoms:

    “His first goal was a shot Jeremy should have had, there’s no question about it. His second was a big screen, but our forwards need to get in the shot lane, but he hit the joint between the crossbar and the post, it was a heck of a shot. The third one, just a quick wrist shot and beat our goalie again. You need some better coverages and you can’t give guys like that an opportunity to shoot.”

    On Sloane’s fight:

    “There wasn’t much to be happy about, but he stood up to tie the line and that’s what everybody has to do. Right now I just don’t think we have enough guys doing that.”

    On how to get players motivated to play this weekend:

    “It’s all about pride and it’s all about character. The players have to take some responsibility. We’re not babysitters. You want self-motivated athletes that have pride and character and want to go and battle and win every game, it doesn’t matter what the situation is. We’ll do our best as coaches to prepare them, but those guys have to take some responsibility also.”

    On playoff chances:

    “It’s a kick in the backside, there’s no question about that. We’ve been struggling, battling, clawing and scratching the best we could for a while, but we didn’t seem to get the job done, obviously. We put ourselves in this position, obviously, and we’ll face the music. We’ve got eight or nine games left and we have to battle our best.”

    Jerome Samson

    On his strong play against the Phantoms:

    “Adirondack is a team we’ve been playing good games against. It’s just, I’m having a lot of confidence looking back to the games we played before and just like come into the game with a good attitude and be ready to play and I guess we got on a roll today.”

    On the Rats confidence against the Phantoms:

    “I think it’s just like we came out the first few games pretty strong, a few wins, like three or four in a row. After that, I think it’s just a mindset. I think everybody comes with a good attitude we can beat this team, we did it in the past. It’s always a good feeling knowing you usually play good games against them. And I think it just like, it might be in their head too, knowing they went 0-4 for the first few games. I think everything adds up.”

    On his first goal, beating Duchesne from the wing:

    “I didn’t get all of it. It might have tipped on the defenseman’s stick, I don’t know, happened kind of quick. Any goal, you have to take it whatever way it go in. But yeah, it surprised me a little bit.”

    On his second goal off the faceoff:

    “Me being a righty and playing my off side and then him being a lefty, when he wins the faceoff it comes right into the soft spot for me to walk in… and I think it’s something every center and winger tries to do.”

    Lineup

    Scratches: Injured — Danny Syvret, Krys Kolanos, Matt Clackson, David Laliberte, Logan Stephenson, Marc-Andre Bourdon. Healthy — Carter Hutton.

    Lines: Pyorala/Ross/Holmstrom; Maroon/Matsumoto/Ward; Dingle/Kalinski/Legein; Klotz/Nodl/Bellamy.

    Defensive pairs: Bodrov/Curry; Mormina/Lehtivuori; Marshall/Sloane.

    – Tim



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