Just Chirp’n # 8 2009-2010
Oct. 29, 2009
by Michael Hissam
El Paso can get a little chiple (spoiled).
Losing one of three in the home-opening series last weekend stunned the Rhino faithful who seem to expect win after win after win, week after week after week. Never mind the team took two of three from the Boulder Bison. Despite a rally to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the game, the team just ran out of gas. As overheard from the ramp to the locker room, “We just didn’t finish the game.”
Herman described last Saturday as, “No jump!” He explained, “We have to be consistent: no off shifts or taking a couple minutes off during the game. If you have a bad shift, think about it for 15 seconds as to how you can improve. Then focus on the next shift.”
Rhino veteran right-winger David Fegler did some thinking and gladly repaid the Bison Sunday with the hat trick to take the rubber game. “Saturday was a learning experience and a wake-up call; not every game is going to be easy. We’ve got to play each game as though it is the last game in the playoffs.”
Fegler – first star of the Sunday extravaganza — took the lesson further: “When we play our game, focus on what we need to do, there’s no problem. We need to perform every time we step on the ice. We cannot let down on any shifts.”
Fan commentary post-Sunday game agreed, but added a different thought as Rhino loyalists viewed the Bison as a team that will push the Rhinos a bit more than the rest – after all they’re in second place – and inspire the boys to perspire a bit more under Coach Cory Herman’s “hard work!” way of life.
Show me any other El Paso team that has won more than 80 percent of its games, and its sarsaparilla.
This weekend marks the beginning a 1-home, 2-away series – or vice versa with the New Mexico Renegades. Peter Ambroziak’s squad heads to the Sun City for Friday’s game; the following day both teams head up I-25 to Albuquerque to round out the set of three.
“It’s going to be a big change for us,” Fegler added. “Once we get up there to Albuquerque on Saturday, we’ll go for a run to get rid of ‘bus legs’ and be mentally and physically prepared.”
He explained the mood on the bus will start out on the light side, “but as we get closer, things get quieter. We focus on the game – the mental preparation.”
Fegler, a rookie last year, liked the progress this year’s batch of new guys show as the season moves on. “They’re sending a message that they are here to play. They are all doing great, and are helping this team. They will come to us – really every one is a leader.”
Herman plans on facing a fired-up Albuquerque team Friday night as the Renegades make their first visit to El Paso. “We got to work them shift after shift; play like it is your last shift.”
Max Dizgun, 17-year old goalie and winner of last Sunday’s game, will get the starting call for the Rhinos on Friday.
Muchas Gracias Department: Many of the Rhino players’ parents attended the opening weekend games. It made a difference. You have much for which to be proud. Muchas gracias y hasta pronto!