Panther City Drops Game to San Diego Seals
The Panther City Lacrosse Club (8-6) dropped their Friday evening match against the San Diego Seals (10-2), 17-9, in Fort Worth at Dickies Arena. The team had 11 different players register a point and were led by rookie Jonathan Donville who finished with five points (1G/4A).
Donville’s four assists were a team high and included three power-play assists. Donville currently leads the league with 26 power-play points and 24 power-play assists. Panther City as a team went 3-5 on the power play this evening, with goals being scored by Callum Crawford and Phil Caputo, who recorded two power play goals.
Goalie Nick Damude stopped 34 of the 45 shots he faced on the evening (76% save percentage) and played much better in the second half, only allowing four goals and making 24 saves. Back-up goalie Cam MacLeod also saw action tonight between the pipes. Second-year defenseman Dylan Hutchison led the club with eight loose balls and also forced one turnover.
Panther City returns home for their penultimate home game on Saturday, April 1 against Eastern Conference foe, the Albany FireWolves. Face-off is set for 7 p.m.
POST GAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH TRACEY KELUSKY
On the mindset going into next week’s game against Albany
“Erase that one as fast as you can and move forward. We are going to go back and watch it. Our attention to detail and our attention to doing the little things – something as simple as breaking out, we weren’t in position to break out all game. Not all game. I probably counted about eight or nine times where we were where we needed to be. At the end of the day that is an every time thing. Our commitment to the little details tonight were tragic I thought. Again, it is about accountability and hitting the reset button. Every year and every team I have played on never had a perfect season and you have what we call a stinker. I think that was probably ours for this year for sure.”
On tonight’s result being because of San Diego’s talent or lack of preparation by Panther City…
“We weren’t able to execute because they played real well. That is arguably one of the best teams in the league for a reason. I thought we matched up well. It wasn’t a matter of working harder per se. I think we got outworked drastically. It was again a commitment to detail. Commitment to doing the little things very well and we didn’t do that. There is pushback at times, which is good and we talked about is important for this group, but again – give them a whole bunch of credit. They scouted us very well and had a great game plan and we didn’t execute ours.”
On if the team did not play up to their usual style of their backs against a wall…
“I don’t think it came out at all tonight. Our identity is so blue collar and we have to play desperate every time. Every shift we have to play desperate. The moment we get comfortable, we don’t have the luxury of having two or three or four or five Hall of Famers on our roster. Are they going to get there? Absolutely. The average age of their offense is around 33-years. Guys who have played in this league for 10-plus years. Ours is 23-years old. You are going to live and learn with some of that, but at the end of the day they have to play hungry and desperate all the time. We didn’t do that on either side of the ball.”
On trying to capitalize on the defense’s stronger play in the third quarter…
“It was a ‘less is more’ scenario. That is what we talked about from the get-go. Less is more. We have a game plan and Coach Toll [Defensive Coordinator Steve Toll] had a great plan defensively. Similarly, Gounds [Offense Coordinator Kyle Goundrey] had an awesome game plan offensively. Our commitment to buying into that wasn’t very good. Again, is that on us as a coaching staff to get buy in? I am not sure. We can crack the whip and we can do whatever we want, but at the end of the day it is about them being accountable for one another, them buying and playing the way we want to play and there were too many guys – one guy off script is way too many.”
DEFENSEMAN MATT HOSSACK QUOTES
On the physicality of tonight’s game…
“We certainly did not start very well from a tactical standpoint. Honestly, it did feel like we were struggling to gather our energy at times. I thought we did a pretty good job at trying to respond. I still feel like overall they overworked us energy-wise. We really didn’t surmount to that level to really make a difference in the game from a work standpoint. We were trying with the effort from our guys to get there, but we were grasping at straws at times, to grab some energy.”
On how he feels about losing teammate Liam Byrnes who was traded to Philadelphia…
“It’s never easy. It’s a tough thing because Byrnes is a great guy. I’ve had the opportunity fortunately, to play with him for a long time in a couple of different leagues. He is a great player, and we were very lucky to have him. Obviously, it is tough to lose him, but that’s part of the league. That’s the way things go in pro sports. You have to turn and flip the script quick. I thought we did a pretty good job of that in practice. It felt like we had energy and focus. We didn’t come out fully prepared. We came out flat.”
On the message for next week…
“Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. We have to get back to the film. I think the message from our leadership group and our coaching staff was that we have to prepare the right way. I don’t think everyone was putting in all that time to get fully there, but we have to be over-prepared and know our opponent inside out, detail-wise. We need to take care of business.”
On how the team plays when they are desperate…
“Part of our message from our coaching staff and myself was to try and play desperate and with that energy. It is certainly tough, but obviously, it has to start with our veteran guys. With our young group, I feel like we got caught like a deer in headlights when it came to showtime today. When we come and we feel like we only have one option and one way to go, the guys do better, if not better than anyone else in the league. I think that is important for us for our guys to find that mindset, edge and that chip to play with every single night. I think that’s part of having a young team. It’s on guys like me and the rest of our leadership group to set that tone. I don’t know if we did the best job tonight, obviously with the outcome, but we are going to look inward.”