POSTGAME: Matt Thomas Quotes (1/4)
Stockton Thunder head coach Matt Thomas spoke to the media after Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Alaska Aces.
THOMAS: “I thought we played well. I thought we gave them two points – Reichard – his fault on the first one and I was talking to somebody on the bench and didn’t see the second one. All I know is Scott Gomez was behind everybody. Not a very smart play to leave that guy behind you. Two mistakes ended up costing us the game. I thought we played well, and obviously their goaltender played real well, so it’s disheartening that we didn’t get the two points. We worked hard, but we needed to work harder right at the net especially in the first 20. I thought in the last period we went to the net harder, but you’ve got to score five-on-five to win a hockey game. We didn’t do it and we gave them two gifts.”
RE: Discuss your game streak against Alaska — beating them in the first two and now having a losing streak against them.
THOMAS: “At the end of the day we’ve been out-goaltended in those games more than anything. We feel pretty confident we can beat these guys. We didn’t score. Obviously Reichard’s mistake tonight, you know, he knows that’s his mistake. Their goalie didn’t make that mistake. We lost a one goal game, essentially. It’s a one goal game and that’s a big mistake to make. It was a bad turnover. He’s got to get his head up, he just made a blind pass. Our guy was there but he didn’t take a look at where their guy was. So it was a good read by their guy but it was a bad pass, just like the first two goals in Utah.
Do they have our number? Yes, they’ve beaten us. But I don’t think it’s like ‘oh we can’t beat Alaska.’ If anything, we just took them to school in term of puck possession in the third period. They didn’t do much against us, other than they found a way to capitalize on a few mistakes and their goaltender didn’t allow us to get any goals. It’s a pretty simple assessment, but we’ll beat those guys. I don’t think they’re an unbeatable team, that’s for sure. I liked the way we worked, I liked the way we played—we made a lot of nice plays, got a lot of nice saves. I thought Reichard played well too other than that turnover…it’s an unfortunate one, really. The guys played hard, they did everything they needed to do; we just didn’t get the job done. ”
RE: You rarely see two fights in a period with one of the same fighters, such as Hunt’s fights tonight in the first. Was there something there?
THOMAS: “Hunt loves to fight. He’s going to hold guys accountable. He finished a hard hit [on Dustin Molle] and Molle gave him a whack on the back of the legs and obviously you don’t do that to Garet Hunt because he’s going to turn around and his gloves are going to be off before you even get a chance to ask him. The second one should have been a five minute major or at least a two minute boarding penalty … goes uncalled and that’s what Hunt does, he sticks up for guys when guys take liberties on players. It was a hit from behind, I don’t get why there wasn’t a penalty, but that’s a whole other conversation.
Hunt’s the heartbeat of our team. You can’t come into our building and play us and take even a half dirty play when he’s on the ice; he’s going to get you, and that’s what he does. He’s the best at it in our league and thank god we have him. He does his job well.”
RE: Talk about Matt Reber’s first game back.
THOMAS: “He played well. His speed was real good. I thought we needed his speed as an injection into our lineup … I liked the way he was skating, he played well. It’s a tough game when you look at it statistically—he ends up minus three in his first game back. Again, I don’t think it was really indicative of the game he played. He was good. It was needed to have a guy like that in.”