Hay wants more hustle, more heart
Emotional involvement key to Giants' success
By Eliott Pap, Vancouver Sun
December 17, 2010
The Vancouver Giants are on a one-game winning streak and goalie Mark Segal is in another realm but coach Don Hay is always looking for more. In this case, more determination from new forwards Brendan Rowinski and Mark Reners.
Rowinski, a 20-year-old centre, has seven points in nine games as a Giant while Reners, an 18-year-old right-winger, has two points in three games, including the game-winning goal in Wednesday's 3-0 victory in Everett.
The numbers aren't bad for newbies but Hay figures they have more to give. The Giants are in Tri-Cities tonight to meet the Americans.
"Both Rowinski and Reners have to continue to be emotionally involved in the game," Hay explained Thursday following a practice in Kennewick, Wash. "When you come from a new team, you don't know where you fit in. Sometimes it takes a while to get emotionally involved and I think the sooner they can do that, the better it is for us and the better it is for them.
"I'm starting to see that from Brendan. He's playing with more spirit and passion and that's what we want. With Reners, he has to get the tempo of his game higher. He shows it in spurts but he doesn't do it consistently."
The most consistent player on the Giants right now, other than forward Brendan Gallagher, is netminder Mark Segal. In his last seven starts, he's allowed 10 goals, shut out the opposition twice and stopped 194 of 204 shots for a stupendous save percentage of .951.
Segal has had only one bad period -- three goals against Saturday in the first versus Swift Current -- and has lost two shootouts but otherwise has given Hay everything a coach could desire.
"I think we're seeing the best of Mark right now," said Hay. "I think he's playing better than he did in the playoffs last year. He looks very confident and very solid.
"... Mark has worked really hard to put himself in that position and the hard work is paying off."
The Giants head into tonight's game still clinging to first place in the mediocre B.C. Division. Their 37 points would have them sitting fourth in any other of the WHL's three divisions. They have a one-point lead on the Kelowna Rockets and are two up on third-place Prince George. Fifth-place Kamloops is five behind.
"We needed a game like the one in Everett to get our confidence back and get us believing we have the ability to win," Hay concluded. "Now we're looking forward to playing Tri-Cities."
The G-Men finish the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule Saturday in Spokane.
G-NOTES: Injured Giant defenceman David Musil (leg) did not skate Thursday at the Czech Republic's world junior selection camp in Detroit ... Left-winger Connor Redmond, who had off-season shoulder surgery, has had his return date pushed back from early January to the end of January.
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Tonight at Tri-City Americans
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