Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
In a few hours, the Chargers of Alabama Huntsville will look to avenge a 2-1 loss to the Lakers of Lake Superior State. We chatted with Associate Head Coach Karlis Zirnis to discuss what to look for in the finale.
The Vitucci Line’s Sucess
Last night, the staff put Frank Vitucci on the second line to utilize the speed he brings in a more consistent ssense. In addtion, well, it worked well.
Zirnis praised the work of the Noah Finstrom, Connor Witherspoon, and Vitucci line against the Lakers before. Last night, they showed their ability to generate chances once more. Despite not scoring a goal, their line was in the middle of a lot of good looks, and had more moments of driving play for the Chargers. That line could be back together again tonight in the finale. Vitucci’s shot is one of the better ones on this team, and if he can get a few more looks tonight, that would be beneficial to the Chargers.
Playing a complete game
The Chargers’ best period last night was the second. Despite generating only four shots on net, they controlled possession for the most amount of time that they did all game. Their persistence in their own end lead to good zone time on offense. When this team sticks to that high level of the second period, good things, like the Bennett Stockdale goal, happen. When they stray away from it, good teams, like Lake Superior State, find a way to claw their way back and steal points from you.
As Zirnis said, ” We need to embrace that style we played in 2nd period. We seemed to get away from that… we have to keep teaching our players thru this process what makes them successful.”
To complete a game, simplify things
As we have noted, this team plays well for each other, and does things by committee throughout the year. That includes goal scoring and shot taking. While that can be good in a lot of facets of the game, when you need shots to the net, it can harm you. Many times last night, the Chargers had zone tiime and pressure, and chose the extra pass over shooting for a rebound. That results in not having anything to show for your hard work. The Chargers are getting better at doing the right things throughout the season. The next step in that is consistently translating zone time to shots on net.
As Zirnis said, “we have to keep simplifying our game at times and shoot the puck. We have to be little bit more selfish and shoot the puck.”
The next challenge for this team is showing what they have learned is this afternoon against the Lakers at 4:07 PM Central time. The Chargers have found ways to improve as the year goes on. What will we see today?
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