The Komets lost their three-game winning streak on Friday night by falling to the Reading Royals 4-2 at Memorial Coliseum. Here's what Komets coach Gary Graham had to say about the game.
Seemed like Reading was just the better team tonight, right?
I really liked our game in a lot of spots. To me it, what it came down to they were more opportunistic than us. They finished on their chances. We had a bunch of great scoring chances, and didn't get them in when we needed to. I thought the guy worked hard. I liked the compete factor. That's a good hockey team over there. That was a good challenge for us, and this is just going ot make us stronger. We have a chance to be resilient and bounce back tomorrow night against a good Wheeling team. We look forward to that.
Is that the type of team you'd like to see the Komets develop into?
Oh, yeah. I thought we matched up well against them. Once we started making some adjustments and started getting down on the walls a little bit quicker and taking away time and space, we had some really good chances. I thought our PK, it was disappointing to see them get that last one because our PK was so good tonight, and we knew that was going to be a focal point of this game. To give them one right there was disappointing. The (third) one was right after we killed off a penalty. We had a guy, I think it was Bobby, who came off into coverage and there was just a miscue when Gens scored. We just didn't pick him up coming down late in the slot. There were some little details, and again, they finished on their golden chances and we didn't on ours and that's what it came down to.
How frustrated where the guys that nothing seemed to be working offensively?
As a group when we were going into the locker room between periods, I told the guys it didn't feel to me like a 3-1 game. We passed up some chances to get some pucks to the net in the second period and turned it over too many times. We had some great chances on the power play and didn't capitalize. Overall, you are never happy with a loss, but against a good team I liked where we're at. If we continue to play more games like tat, I think we're going to continue to grow and get better as a team. We need to get challenged. We're a young team and the more challenges we get thrown at us, we're going to continue to get better and find ways. I thought Marino and Auger, there were some guys who played some really solid games tonight so hats off to those guys, but again, that's a good Reading team.
Any other thoughts on the defensive breakdowns that led to Reading's goals tonight?
The one was coming off a penalty kill so we had a guy coming into coverage and we just got puck-focused and didn't pick up the late defenseman creeping down. The two goals in the first... the one goal was a tough break. We made a play to Bobby in the middle there and they jammed it up. Our defense got caught in the worst situation possible there, going forward at the blue line when they are coming right at you. That's a tough play. Obviously, they got a chance down Broadway and Tifu buried it. That's why Tifu is Tifu. He makes you pay.
Just those little things against good teams that can happen in the back of the net real quick. They are an opportunistic team with a lot of weapons up front. I think we could have done a better job of testing their goaltender more consistently. We finally started doing that, getting to the net. I saw quite a few guys digging and scratching and clawing, getting hammered in front of their goaltender trying to be gritty and greasy. That's what we want to be, just more consistent.