Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail


Hockey Challenge 2014

Recent Articles


Post Season Q and A with Coach Sumner - Part 3

Here is Part 3 of my Q and A with Coach Sumner. I have one more installment that I will post tomorrow.

Hunnex - The team seemed to be most successful at home when they were able to get their checking game going and that seemed to be a difficult thing to replicate in the two playoff games at home. Is that more of a credit to Spokane for being a tough team to hit? or might fatigue have been a factor?

Sumner - I agree that we were most effective when we were able to use our speed to play physical. There are several factors as to why it was hard to accomplish against Spokane in games three and four.

Physical play on the forecheck generally stems from decisions made with the puck in the neutral zone. In Spokane for games one and two we were automatic in the neutral zone with our puck decisions. If we outnumbered them (which isn’t often against Spokane) we would carry the puck in, use our speed off the rush, and try to generate an attack to the net. If we didn’t outnumber them, the puck would not only be dumped in but it would be placed with purpose where we could get to it first or where we could be physical and win the puck.

We were very much on task on the road and weren’t nearly as good with this at home. We tried to stretch the boundaries with carrying the puck in and that is playing with fire against a good team. It led to preventable turnovers, which leads to less possession time in the offensive zone, which leads to a shift in or lack of momentum. Combine this with less opportunity to make their defence pay a price physically and it leaves us with less edge to our game. I don’t think fatigue was a factor, yes it’s hard work and demanding physically but I believe this to be more of a mental test than a physical one.

Hunnex - Talk a little bit about Calvin Pickard. I think most fans don't truly and fully understand and appreciate how impressive his play was this season as a 16 year old. Very few 16 year old players make a big impact in this league and even fewer 16 year old goaltenders wind up being #1 goaltenders and leading a team into the playoffs.

Sumner - Calvin earned and achieved all of his successes all season long. He’s a great goalie and teammate and he has a tremendous future in the game. I could write all day about him because I have a well earned admiration for him as a person and a goalie. He has the perfect mind set for a goaltender. He is very focused on playing yet he remains calm and on task.

He had a few tough experiences this year that weren’t even his fault that would have been too much to handle for many other young players. He always followed those tough nights up with efforts that were truly inspiring for our team. Keep in mind he also plays the most unforgiving position. As a coach I always felt very confident with Calvin in our net. He puts the team first and is loved by his teammates.

Our conference had exceptional goaltending this year and with Calvin I always felt that we were as good as or better than anyone we were up against. That’s quite a compliment for a 16-year-old considering both gold medal winning World Junior goalies came from our division.


One last installment tomorrow from Coach Sumner about injuries, coaches and captains for next season.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tyler! I look forward to your final installment.


WHL Scoreboard