Ontario Reign Post Game Quotes 1/5/16: Dowd, Auger, Gravel

Auger Reign MayorsManor 2015 by Ikiri

After the Ontario Reign’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Texas Stars, Reign players Nic Dowd, Justin Auger, and Kevin Gravel met with the media to give their thoughts on the game.

Nic Dowd

On the plan against transition game of Texas: “I think it’s important as a preventative measure you’ve got to get pucks in deep when you have the chance. They’re a very good transition team they’re looking to take advantage of turnovers in the neutral zone and then go on the attack. The clips we watched they had a lot of skilled guys and a lot of skilled plays going up the ice. They were able to make a lot of plays off the rush so I thought getting pucks in deep was first and foremost our most important thing. When it did happen we made sure we had numbers back.”

On his linemates Justin Auger and Johnny Brodzinski: “Augs, the stat sheet will tell I thought he played really well. His second goal was great; I think that’s more of the stuff he has to do. I think he’s slowly figuring out he can take the puck to the net and hold guys off and score goals. Brodzy is coming into his own for sure but we’ve got to get him shooting the puck a little bit more. He’s got a great shot and then I think he’ll find the back of the net a little bit more. We’ve played together a little bit but we’re still trying to figure some stuff out and we will work towards that in practice.”

On getting the win after the short skid: “Yeah it felt good. Little disappointing when they tied it up and they forced us to go into OT but they’re a good team and that’ll happen. I’m glad we came out on top tonight. It was good for morale and good for the team.”

On the importance of the off day: “It is important and it’s important guys take advantage of it. There’s a difference between an active rest day where you’re doing stuff to get yourself better away from the rink and just sitting on your couch and watching movies and eating junk food all day, which isn’t going to help you, you might as well come to the rink. A lot of guys on our team took advantage of it yesterday especially because we don’t have a lot of off days in the upcoming days and we have so many games. It was good, it was a good mental break and I think the guys were refreshed today and I think it showed.”

On if they got nervous when Texas tied the game: “No, I think it was the opposite. I think that does creep into teams, everyone has been a part of it. And I think that when that does happen it’s probably less helpful than if you stay positive and continue to play your game and nothing changes. People are going to score; they’re going to ties games up. We’re going to do it to teams and teams are bound to do it to us. It’s a great league and they’re a really good team. I thought the guys fought through a little bit of adversity tonight. Nothing changed in our game and I think that showed in OT when we were able to finally seal it.”

Justin Auger

On his first goal: “I thought the goalie was going to cover it so I went in there to try and make him cover it. He decided to play it and luckily it hit me right in the stomach it fell right in front of me and I hit it in the net.”

On his two goal, three point game: “You get one and the confidence starts flowing a little bit. We’ve been having trouble putting pucks in the net lately so getting one there felt good. You have more confidence shooting the puck and luckily I shot it and it got through everyone and went in the net.”

On if he thought about shooting instead of passing to Gravel who scored the OT goal: “Yeah I thought about it but I figured Gravs was too wide open not to pass it to him. He’s had some luck in OT before too. He has the hot stick in OT.”

On if he is feeling more confident this season: “Yeah of course. Taking on bigger roles this year, a lot of power play and penalty kill which I didn’t have last year. Getting more ice gives you a lot more confidence out there.”

On the feeling after losing the lead and facing OT: “We were never worried. We know what kind of team we have in there. We know what kind of guys we have. Never quit attitude, it has been that way all year. They tied up the game and we were confident you know, we were one shot away. We went into OT there and just threw pucks on net, we were going to get the next one.”

On strategic changes in OT: “The main thing is make sure you have your guy, pretty much man on man. If a guy beats you it’s going to be a two on one or a three on two. So it’s really just not getting beat. And a big part is possession. When you have possession you don’t give up possession. If you have to bring the puck back and regroup or whatever you have to do hold possession. With so much ice out there possession is a big part of it and usually whoever gets more shots is going to win the game.”

Kevin Gravel

On jumping up during his GWG: “You’ve got to be smart about it. If you jump up and don’t capitalize or bobble a puck they’re going back the other way on two on one or three on one. You have to pick you spots as a defenseman you are the last line of support there. Dowder made a good play he chased the puck down in the corner off his rebound and he popped the puck to Augy. Augy made a good play: he hung on to it for a while and got the goalie to bite on him and slid it over and I had nothing but net to shoot at. Fortunately it went in for us.”

On his knack for OT winners this year: “I don’t know really. Those are both just ones I threw on net. Neither one of them left the ice and I think the combined miles per hour were probably fifty. That’s what it takes. Stots before the OT said, ‘no shot is a bad shot.’ I think he saw before we scored guys were throwing pucks on net from everywhere during that three on three. That’s what that goal came off, it was a rebound that went into the corner and Dowder chased it down and ultimately it ended up in the back of the net. When you get your chances, especially when we’ve been kind of hurting for goals, you just throw pucks on net and normally good things happen.”

On adjustments made counter the speed of the Texas Stars: “Not really. I think our effort was pretty good tonight. Texas is a team that feeds off their transition game. If were turning pucks over in the neutral zone or at our blue line, they are going back up the other way very quickly. That’s something we stressed coming into the game and between both periods is taking care of the puck at each blue line and taking away their transition game because they are very good off the rush. Their power play goal was a goal off the rush tonight. So if we can limit their opportunities on that we can kind of shut them down a little bit.”

On the difference tonight after three straight losses: “You’ve just got to stick with it, it’s a long season. Obviously we don’t want to go on a skid like we did, but in the long run it’s three games of a sixty-eight game season. Those things are going to happen, it’s never going to go perfect for you. We’ve got a lot of leadership and a lot of guys in that locker room that just kind of stay the course, A lot of guys that have been around before and that stick with it, ‘Play our game, things are going to come.’ We’ve been hurting for goal scoring and we threw pucks on net tonight and got a couple goals. Augy had a great game for us, he stepped up. We stick with it. We’re confident in the group that we have and tonight we came out on top.”

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