Terrorcats turn toward tournament
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington, Somers, East Windsor - posted Thu., Feb. 24, 2011
Even though his hockey team lost an overtime game, 3-2, to West Haven on Feb. 23, coach Paul Dowe of the Tri-Town Terrorcats was upbeat.
“We showed today that we can compete,” he said, “but our deal is, we have to compete night-in and night-out. We lost to Wethersfield [on Feb. 21], and bounced back with a great effort tonight.”
The loss most likely affected the Terrorcats’ seeding in the upcoming state tournament, but just getting to the dance - at this stage - is enough.
“We’ve been in a slump for the last couple of weeks,” Dowe said, “but that’s because our schedule got much harder, and bunched up [due to making up snow cancellations]. Now we’re coming into the fun part of the season - the playoffs - and I think the kids are just starting to realize that this is the end of the road.”
Dowe said his team played with great effort throughout the game, but just didn’t get the right bounce in the end to win the game.
But, he said it was a good test for the Terrorcats, since Division I tournament play is just around the corner. Tri-Town is currently ranked #12, with one remaining game versus South Windsor on Feb. 26. West Haven is ranked #10.
“West Haven is a top-10 team, and we’re going to be playing a team like that in the first round of the state tournament,” Dowe said.
As far as preparing his team for the post-season, Dowe is taking a simple approach.
“We just tell them to keep it simple,” he said. “Try to keep emotions in check, and try to make the little things work. Where we lose is in the small battles - making the wrong decision in a close situation. We tell them to keep it simple and make the right decision.”
Overall, Dowe is happy with his team’s effort of late. “I think everyone has stepped up,” he said, “especially the seniors. But to get out of the slump, everyone has stepped up and played well.”