Well, Snakes fans, the home opener is TONIGHT and I assume we'll see Andrew Loewen in net. But I assumed we'd see Andrew tonight as well.
I knew Jerome wanted more time to evaluate both Travis Bosch and Jesse Chenard. But I honestly thought he'd do it through the week in practice and in the games next weekend. I mean, Andrew is the number 1 goalie. I don't think there's any doubt about that. So why wouldn't you start him both nights on opening weekend?
Don't get me wrong. By no means am I trying to pin last night's loss on Jesse. When you're a rookie goalie, starting on the road amidst all the hoopla of a banner raising, ring ceremony, etc, you don't need all those penalty kills. Yea, Jesse gave up 6 goals, but 4 were on the PP and 1 on a five-on-three.
It is tough on any night to gauge a team's performance on the web. The quick start with two goals on the road was awesome. Great to see Matt Gingera and Tom Maldonado pick up where they left off and Jordan Braid assisting on both. Even better to see new guys Dan Bremner and Jason Gray contribute.
But along with these positives come a lot of questions. First of all, how many of those penalties were "good" penalties. You and I both know that all penalties aren't created equal. Some are careless, others are lazy, some are actually smart. I have no clue because the camera didn't allow me to see any of them clearly.
The biggest question is Daniel Amesbury's five-minute major and gamer. To get a major, you have to do something pretty blatant and severe. The consequences are that your team has to kill a LONG penalty. In this case, it was costly. A minor by Dan shortly after Daniel's major gave the Ice Flyers a five-on-three which they scored on very quickly. It was a costly penalty in that this goal put Pensacola ahead 4-3. Granted, there was a lot of hockey still to play, but after leading 2-0, the Snakes trailed 4-3 after two.
There was still time and hope entering the third. A one-goal lead in hockey can disappear in the blink of an eye. But three golden opportunities in the third were wasted. Three straight minors in which the Snakes managed only 1 shot each could've made a big difference. If they'd tied it early in the third, the momentum of the game may have shifted completely. Instead, the opposite happened. Pensacola grabbed momentum, kept it and posted the W.
It's one game...one of 56. Not the easiest place or circumstances to open up a season. Not a fan of road openers, but I guess with 1 in 10 years, there's not much room to complain...haha.
Tonight, it's back to the friendly confines of the Snake Pit and, hopefully, a large, supportive crowd. The guys definitely feed off the energy of the crowd. No doubt about it.
Bring your wallets as the special jerseys the guys are wearing will be auctioned after the game to benefit a cause dear to my heart and team owner Wanda Amos' as well. A portion of the proceeds will go to the In It To End It fundraising effort to try to wipe out breast cancer before it takes any more of our friends and family members. A great cause, definitely.
See ya'all tomorrow night at the Pit!