Talk about this past weekend’s efforts. The Stingrays went down to Florida without a full lineup and still managed to pull off two impressive wins against the South Division’s first-place team.
To be honest, I thought they were probably our two best games of the year, especially the first one. I felt the first game we played really well, and then pretty good again the second night. The only game I can think of that was a little bit better was probably game two against Florida, the second game of the season. I thought we played really well when we won down there. Guys played their hearts out; a great effort. Everyone was buying into the game plan that we put into place in order to try to get a couple wins out of there.
Have you ever seen as much roster movement, as the Capitals, Bears and Stingrays have had, this early in the season?
(Chuckling) Honestly, it seems like every year I say that. I’ve been coaching now for, this is my seventh season, and I don’t think we’ve ever had ten guys out of the lineup. We’ve had two hurt, one sick and seven guys up (in Hershey and Washington). Right now I’m sitting here looking at my board and there are ten guys missing, and I’ve never seen that. I know it’s just short-term, so I’m assuming Washington got a whole bunch of guys this weekend. It always takes a day or two to make sure they’re good, and then they’ll trickle to Hershey. I’m sure we’ll have some guys coming back to join us for this weekend. We’ll definitely have a stronger lineup this weekend than we did last weekend.
What did you think of Ian Vigier’s performance, coming up from the SPHL and making his ECHL debut?
You know what, he was great. He really was. He came into a rough situation; playing down in Florida is not an easy task. At the start of the game, I want to say they were outshooting us 10-1, and he was holding us in. He made a lot of big saves, but he made a couple of really big saves for us at key times in the game to keep us afloat.
The Stingrays host the Elmira Jackals for the first time ever this Friday and Saturday. How much do you know about Steve Martinson’s club?
Well, I know a little bit about them. I’m familiar with a few of their personnel, and I know that they’ll be a very hard-working, physical team. Some of his teams I’ve seen in the past, they’re always physical and they always work extremely hard. And that’s the one thing I know some of their guys have. They do have some talent up front, guys that can score and whatnot. He (Martinson) always has a line or two of guys that are potent offensively. A good, hard-working blue collar team, I’m sure, is what we’ll see come in here this weekend. So we’re going to have to be ready, because we’ve always had trouble against teams like that through the course of the season; teams have outworked us and have had success. I think that’s a tribute to those teams and also a little bit on us. We have to make sure that we’re coming with a work ethic consistently.
Do you look forward to the match-ups against the North Division teams, since the Rays generally face those opponents just once or twice a season?
You know, I do. It’s just a nice change. It’s easy to get excited for a team you’re only going to play once or twice. You don’t know what they’ll bring to the table, so it’s a little more exciting than just seeing the same teams over and over, which isn’t fun. It’s nice to compare your team against other teams in our league.
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Stingrays Hockey – A Whole Lot Cooler!