POSTGAME: Matt Thomas Quotes
Stockton Thunder head coach Matt Thomas spoke to the media after Saturday’s 5-3 victory against the Colorado Eagles.
THOMAS: “Survival. It was a tough game to play; I have no idea what the standard was. I thought the penalties were very inconsistent so we didn’t know what was going on other than our penalty kill needed to be good. Our penalty kill scored us a goal which ended up being the difference, which was nice but it was a frustrating game as a player to play in and we were pretty fatigued mentally. I think our legs were alright but mentally we kind of checked out too many times and allowed them to get back into it. They got a 5-on-3 goal so sometimes it’s tough to kill those off, especially when it’s back to back like they were, but it was a good win. Bunz made some real big saves and that was important. The ‘D’ really gutted it out. We went down to four at the end there and the forwards did their job, especially on the penalty kill.”
RE: Fatigue from playing so many games in so little time?
THOMAS: “Yeah, it was a groundhog day for us—the last little bit. It felt like if we weren’t on a plane we were at the rink morning skating getting ready for a game. I think the guys are sick of me, listening to me; I’m pretty sick of them right now so it’s nice that we’re sick of each other after a win. We’ll get a couple days off here, get back at it on Tuesday and head to Colorado getting ready for what’s going to be an important three games.”
RE: Are you satisfied with how you did in that stretch?
THOMAS: “No, not satisfied. You always want to win more and we had opportunities to win more of those games, but we played the majority of those games with five defensemen, we changed lines up kind of in the middle of it. It was a tough stretch. I’m definitely not happy…I would have liked to have been in a better spot, but we got some points we did some things. I think as a team we improved in some areas and that’s the important thing during this portion of the season. You want to make sure that as a team you’re understanding concepts, you’re improving, you’re growing and you’re understanding what makes you successful. I think we accomplished that, but we’re tired.
RE: The game-winning shots by Hunt and Hunter
THOMAS: “It was obviously a huge goal for us. [Garet Hunt] is such a big part of our penalty kill and he has been for years, so to see him get rewarded with the game winner …Eric Hunter had a tough night, he probably could have had seven minors called against him—he got a bunch of high sticks tonight, a bunch of high hits and different things, so he was pretty frustrated during the game. It was nice for him to throw one the length of the ice and for it to go in. We haven’t had too many of those empty net goals, we’ve missed some of those. It was nice, obviously a relief for us to do that. Tony DeHart was great—I thought all the ‘D’ were great. I thought Bunz was great, it was an important game for him to be great and he was good in the third period. He had to be. Guys were pretty tired by the end of each period tonight, but they battled. Obviously we found a little bit of adrenaline in the third there to hold them off and that was important.”