The way Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades coach Randy Pearcey sees it, his best players have to be at their best tonight.
The Blades have their backs to the wall as they take on the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars in Game 6 of the Subway Avalon East Senior Hockey League final 7:30 at the Glacier.
The CeeBees, after dropping the first two games of the best-of-seven final, have rebounded with three straight wins and have momentum on their side, but Pearcey points out, “You’ve got to win four games to win a series.”
And, he adds, “Sometimes your back has to be against the wall to really understand what you need to do to get to that next level.
“When they drop the puck (tonight), they aren’t going to be in any better position than we are,” said Pearcey.
That doesn’t mean the Mount Pearl coach is underestimating the defending league champions.
“We’re up against a real good team that has a lot of experience but, having said that, any one of the first five games could have gone either way,” Pearcey noted.
Pearcey said “hopefully,” his team has at least six periods of hockey left and they’ll try to win all six.
“There’s been a lot of emotional swings in this series along with momentum changes. They have the momentum right now but that can change shift to shift and period to period just as easy as it does from game to game.”
Changing the momentum tonight, according to Pearcey, means his best players have to pick it up.
“We’ve got do what we do best which is to dump and chase and play physical and our scorers have got to score,” he said.
“We pride ourselves in that sort of game. Unfortunately, when you fall behind at certain times of the game instead of playing the system, a lot of guys try to take it upon themselves and play as individuals. That happens sometimes but you've got to try and keep to the system which includes trying to stay out of the penalty box.
“You take a cheap penalty and the momentum often switches, especially if you can’t kill it off.
“Overall, it’s been a real good, entertaining series,” added Pearcy, who would obviously like to see the series continue after tonight.
If Game 7 is necessary, it will go 7:30 Saturday night at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.
CeeBees coach Ian Moores admits his team got off to a slow start in the final series.
“There were no excuse for losing our first two games,” said Moores.
“Certainly, I thought Mount Pearl were ready for Game 1 and we weren’t,” he said.
Moores believes Mount Pearl were more prepared for the final coming off a tougher semifinal series against Northeast Rona Eagles than the CeeBees were in eliminating the Bell Island Family Drug Mart Blues.
In the meantime, Game 5 in the West Coast Senior Hockey League final between Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and Deer Lake Red Wings is slated for eight o’clock tonight at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor.
The Cataracts lead the best-of-seven series 3-1.