'Man-ville' going back to basics after tough losses
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Manchester/Vernon/Stafford - posted Fri., Jan. 27, 2012
After an 8-0 loss to Newington-Berlin on Jan. 26, the Manchester-Rockville-Stafford United Hockey team fell to 3-7 on the year, and was looking for ways to get out of its funk. Coach Christian Stevenson said the high point of the game for “Man-ville” was that goalie Matt Roy made some outstanding saves and kept Newington/Berlin from scoring more than the 8 they had.
“Newington/Berlin's play showed that they are truly a tournament-bound team, qualifying with their win over us,” Stevenson said, adding that it was certainly frustrating for the United team, but they will be back for their next game and try again.
“We just keep showing up,” he said. “That's all we can do. We've been shut out five times. I don't think we can buy a goal.”
Stevenson, calling his team a “nice bunch of kids,” said the United has a large group of sophomores, but some upperclassmen as well, and all of them are feeling that frustration. “It just doesn't appear that we're clicking at all,” he said. “We don't necessarily get dominated for 45 minutes, but almost every opportunity the other teams have to score, it just goes in the net. It's no fault of our goaltender, it's just the other teams are capitalizing better than we are.”
Stevenson said the team's practices will be more intense, but will also be more encompassing. “We work on everything from power-play breakouts, to penalty kills, to simple breakouts, to simple passing,” Stevenson said, “neutral-zone traps, four-checking traps, 1-2-2 traps – absolutely everything.”
While Stevenson said he still hopes the team can turn things around and finish the season at .500 or better, for now, success will simply be the team's next goal. “Scoring goal number one,” he said. “We've given up 15 goals to nothing in the last two games, so I think goal number one, and going from there is really it. We've got to get on the board.”
At press time, Manchester-Rockville-Stafford was preparing to play rival Bolton-Coventry-Lyman Memorial on Jan. 28 and North Branford on Feb. 4.
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