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Black Wolves Brief With Rich Lisk


On the team gelling at the right time
“We’re finally getting to the point where it is the right time. We had all of these new pieces, and we needed to have them gel. We had a different lineup a lot, one guy in, one guy out, so finally these last couple of games we’ve made a conscious effort to say ‘these are the guys that we’re going with, this is the team that we believe in,’ and we let them gel. You could see it building and building. When we played here against Calgary and held them to 11 points, Stephan (Leblanc) had a big goal at the end and Johnny (Powless) with the goal in overtime, they’re getting used to playing with each other. That translates into wins. Then we go into Colorado and win 10-6 and that’s a total team effort, and coming back for what I think was our best game of the year, the 11-6 win at Rochester. They’re the high flying team who had won seven of eight and scoring at will against people and we held them to six. That’s our young guys gelling together. People say that there are peaks and valleys in the season. We’ve had our peak at the beginning, then we had our valley and now we’re coming back up and hopefully peaking at the right time.”

On the new guys making the most impact in Rochester
“I’d probably be the only GM to say that I was proud of that game and Kevin (Crowley) didn’t score. Usually you go into a game and your big guys have to carry you. But you look at it and John LaFontaine had two goals, Dylan Evans had a goal, Adam Bomberry, another new addition, with a goal, Colton Watkinson, a rookie, with a goal. I think we got six goals out of our transition, which is what we concentrated on in the offseason. Also, that defense scored six goals but only let up six goals, which was great. And then a stellar performance by a guy like Aaron Bold, who had three assists. That was another thing that we looked at when we looked at Aaron – he can get the ball up the floor and that’s awesome. His three assists reflected that. On the offensive side, you had Stephan (Leblanc) with two – newcomer. Johnny Powless with one – newcomer. Callum Crawford with one – another newcomer. When you look at how our season had been going, man if Kevin doesn’t score we don’t win, but we won and he didn’t score and I know he’s going to score. Now if we can keep that consistency and add Kevin scoring to it, there is no stopping us.”

On the play of Aaron Bold
“One of the things that I love about Aaron is that he’s a big time goaltender and he plays big in the big games. Yes, we’ve had our ups and downs throughout the year and I don’t think his stats reflect the season that he has actually had. When we were bad, we were bad, no doubt about it. But when we’re good it’s because of Aaron and that defense and now they are playing well. I take my hat off to Clem D’Orazio and Glenn Clark, our defensive coordinator and head coach – that weekend when we lost two games they sat back and redesigned the defense to play around Aaron’s strengths and to be more aggressive and that really played into our athleticism. I think you saw that against Rochester. They only played with nine defenseman, normally you play with 10 or 11 defensemen. Glenn and Clem recognized that and ran them. We did that and scored six goals in transition. Those are the little adjustments we’re making and Aaron has been tremendous. The guy has won three championships, he’s won a world championship, he’s been in the Mann Cup. He’s a big time goaltender and you’re seeing it now because now we’re at the big time.”