Game Quotes, October 6th: Griffins 3, Monsters 2

Head Coach Joe Sacco:

(First Statement): “I thought it was a very exciting night especially for our players and the people here that came to see our first game. It was an exciting game. We got better as the game went on. I thought the first period we had a little bit of jitters in us, but it seemed that in the second period we came out and started to play our game more. The third period I thought that we started to take over the play and we eventually got a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, a couple of mistakes and it ends up in the back of our nets. Overall, I was pleased with the effort by most of the guys. They all worked hard and we just have to work a little bit smarter.

(On getting the first game behind them): “It’s nice. I think that some of the guys were probably nervous tonight. There was a big crowd here. We had probably seven or eight rookies in the lineup. It doesn’t matter where you’re playing or who you’re playing against, it’s always nice to get the first game under your belt. Sure, we would have liked to have better results tonight but unfortunately that didn’t happen. We’ll get back to work Monday. I’m pleased with the effort and I’m pleased where we’re at after tonight’s game. Obviously I’m not pleased with the loss, but it’s a good learning lesson for some of our younger players. We’re up 2-1. We have to play a little bit tighter and secure that lead.”

(On the big crowd tonight): “It was outstanding. It was outstanding. Like I said, I think that we put on a pretty good show. The ‘W’ would have been nice but to see that type of support here in our first game makes us feel good, makes us feel proud and I’m very pleased with the people that showed up. It was a nice, raucous crowd too so it was a lot of fun.”

(On the officiating): “That’s the way they call the game now, where sticks can’t come up and you can’t obstruct with the other players now. Once your stick comes up in the air, they’re going to call a penalty once it comes above your waist. It was tight for both teams. We have to be a little bit more discipline at the end of the game being that we’re down a goal. We can’t take a penalty because now we’re trying to score another goal.”

(On having Jose Theodore playing with the Monsters): “It’s nice. He’s a calming influence back there for our young defense. Anytime we have a breakdown, you got a guy like that you can count on him to make a big save for you. He made some big saves tonight and I thought their goalie played very well. I think that in the first couple of periods we could have had a few more goals if it wasn’t for the play of their goaltender as well. We had good quality chances. We just didn’t bury the puck.”

(On what they learned tonight): “You learn something every game. Sometimes you learn more from a loss than you do from a win and I think the thing that we learned tonight is that our younger players realize that this is a good, competitive league that they play in. The guys that are coming out of college for the first time and coming out of junior, they realize that this league is a very good league and they have to be ready every night.”

Monsters center Matt Hussey:

(On scoring the franchise's first goal ): “It was nice.  We got that goal and then scored another right after it, which gave us the lead, and got the crowd into it.  The crowd was fantastic for this game. It was probably one of the biggest crowds that I've played in front of in the AHL, so that's exciting.”

(On the third period): “We came out of the locker room strong and we knew we were getting chances.  We wanted to get the puck deep and crash the net and get those goals.  Unfortunately we didn't hold on, but we learned our lessons and we'll take a lot from this game.”

(On moving on from Opening  Night): “It helps to have played this game.  There's some pressure that guys are feeling.  They haven't had hockey here in a couple of years.  We're just going to keep playing, and hopefully the crowd will stand behind us.”