Terriers to face blue-collar Slammers at RBC Cup
The Woodstock Slammers have taken their moniker literally throughout the Maritime Hockey League season.
Woodstock slammed the puck into the opposing goal a league-high 265 times, slammed the door shut with just 121 tallies against, and slammed opponents, racking up 1694 penalty minutes, 441 more than second-place Yarmouth. However, they boasted the loop's second-best penalty kill at 85.39 per cent, meaning their penalty-killers are skilled, and well-versed at their jobs.
Head coach Jason Tatarnic said even though the team suffered just seven losses in the entire regular season, it wasn't a walk in the park.
"We've been fortunate," said Tatarnic."We had some stiff competition. We didn't walk away with anything. We had some tough teams and were just fortunate to get into the win column more often than the loss column."
In the regular season, the Slammers had 11 players post 30 or more points, with five hitting the 50-point mark. In net, Matt Murphy posted a tidy 2.13 goals against average and .932 save percentage.
"We're just an average hockey team, to be honest," said Tatarnic. "We're just steady. We have a big back end and our goaltender's played well. Throughout the course of this season, different forwards have stepped up at different times.
"We get goals by committee. We don't really have any individuals that stand out alone."
After winning the league with a Game 7 triple-overtime win over Yarmouth, the Slammers advanced to the Fred Page Cup, a tournament that determines the eastern champion. Tatarnic said playing in the tournament format as opposed to a series should provide at least a slight benefit.
"How much it'll help I don't know, but it'll help," said Tatarnic. "I think the format will help us. We'll take the same approach of getting even better as each game goes.
"As the tournament goes along, we want to get better and better."
For more, please see Friday's edition of the Portage Daily Graphic.