Game Quotes, October 16th: Stars 4, Monsters 2

Head Coach Joe Sacco

(On the progress of the team):“We saw two good periods of play tonight from the guys and there were some things out there that we did really well. We played two good periods but for whatever reason we got out of our game plan.We just didn’t stay on the plan and the results show that tonight.”

(On if he will use the same game plan tomorrow night):“Absolutely, that was very effective for us for two periods and in the third period we backed off and didn’t create any pressure on our forecheck again. We just weren’t playing the way we were in the first two period. We just didn’t stick to our game plan tonight for three periods.”

(On the development of young players):“I thought there were some positive signs tonight. I thought McCleod’s line with McCormick, Hensick and Rycroft did a nice job providing a lot of energy for us. T.J. seems to be getting a lot more comfortable offensively, he’s going to have to do that for us to have a chance night in and night out. He’s a guy were going to rely on to score. And I thought some of our younger defensemen played well like Kyle Cumiskey and Vladimir Denisov. We’re seeing some good results from our young guys right now.”

(On less penalties tonight):“Yes, that’s something we’ve been stressing on each game and in this league we have a lot of first year guys out of junior and college. This is an adjustment period for them because once your stick comes up in this league it’s a penalty and they’re not used to that so were trying to do a good job of harping on that and obviously the less time we can stay out of the penalty box gives us a better chance of winning.”

(On if tonight was a game the players can build off):“I think there are some positives. I don’t know if they’re going to feel good about themselves after having a 2-1 lead in the third and giving that up. I can finally say that we played well for two periods this year. We have been inconsistent but we put together two good periods and tomorrow night were going to put together three good periods.”

Leftwing Cody McCleod
(On his own goal):“Our line there had a good cycle and cut back a couple of times. We’re just trying to get out in front and Hussey made a good pick in front of the net. I just shot it on net and it went in. I was trying to throw it on the net and hopefully get a rebound for the guys in front of the net and it went in.”

(On being so close to getting a win):“I’m not trying to make excuses, but we have a young team and we just have to get better every day. It’s early on in the season, we’re only five games in and we have to keep our heads up and be ready to come back tomorrow. We’ll be fine, we just have to stay positive and keep it going.”

(On chemistry building between players):“Guys are still getting used to each other, but it doesn’t matter who you are playing with. You just have to go out there and play hard for 60 minutes. I think we took a few shifts off there in the third and a couple bounces didn’t go our way. We hit the cross bar and couple of other good chances. We just have to get focused to come back tomorrow.

(On how to keep fresh playing five games in six days):“You just have to get home early, get some good food, some good rest and keep hydrated.”

(On advice for the rookies on adapting to the AHL):“It’s going to take a bit of an adjustment coming out of junior and college for them. In college you only 40 games and you play 80 some up here. I think they’re doing alright, everyone is staying positive until we get that first win under our belt and we’ll go from there.”

(On the two 5-on-3s that the Monsters failed to capitalize on):"We had some good chances, we just need to send more pucks at the net and get our nose dirty. We have to get in front of the goalie because I think he’s seeing too much. It’s going to take time, we haven’t had many practices together, but we’ll have lots of time to keep working on it here in the near future.”

Defenseman Mike Vernace
(On tonight’s game):“We played well for the first two periods and we were executing a lot better than we did in the first two games even though we only got the two goals. It’s the little things that we’re not always doing that are coming back to bite us. We’re not getting sticks in front of the net, chipping pucks in deep and getting on the fore check, having good gaps as defensemen. All types of little things that got better today, but we always have to improve. We deserved a better fate today that’s for sure.”

(On not taking advantage of the 5-on-3s):“The guys are on a power play and they know what they are doing out there or else they wouldn’t be out on the power play. But, it doesn’t always go as you plan it; it would have been nice to get at least one of those 5-on-3 goals. We just have to work on it in practice and work to function together as a team. We can’t be too negative or else we’re going to just snowball and we can’t let that happen. We’ve got a lot of character guys in here that won’t let that happen. We just have to mesh and gel together as a team.”

Center T.J. Hensick
(On losing the lead in the third period):"This was our first significant lead going into the third up one and it’s something that we have to bear down on the little things such as not taking stupid penalties. We were very close and only a couple of inches away from getting some wins. But the inches can be the difference between winning and losing.

(On the biggest difference between college and the AHL):“It’s different for sure. In my first camp with the Avs, I thought I skated well and it was great to be around the legends such as Sakic and Smyth. It was a real eye opener for me, showing me what I need to do in order to get to the next level. I thought I had a good camp, but there’s definitely room for improvement. Right now I’m just taking it a day at a time. It’s definitely something new down here. You have to take it as a professional and things are different. The guys are much older and have families. So team wise, it’s not the same as when I was in school. In school you do everything as a team: going to classes, meals, practice, hanging out away from the rink. The age difference and the fact the guys have families are definitely different.”

(On Iowa showing the Monsters anything different than the other teams they’ve faced): “A little. All teams in this league, at least from what I’ve seen, are similar, but upfront Iowa has some quick smaller forwards that through the neutral zone appeared to be making those quick passes, making our D move side to side, getting the puck in deep, and making our team cycle. For us to win we have to play better defensively. We seem to be getting the run around in our own zone. Including myself, we have to pick those guys up in order to have a chance.”