Puck of the Irish

November 25, 2014

The record through 19 games is well above the .500 mark — 11-6-2 for 24 points to be exact — but Detroit Fighting Irish coach-general manager Dan Vasquez thinks it could be better.

“There have been games in which we out-shot our opponents by a wide margin but lost when we felt we should have won,” said Vasquez, whose Fighting Irish is in third place in the seven-team, Midwest Jr. Hockey League heading into a pair of home games this weekend.

Still, Vasquez said he is “satisfied with our overall performance even if our goaltending has been inconsistent.”

To be sure, while the Fighting Irish has scored 83 goals in 19 games to date, it has allowed 76. Three Fighting Irish goalies have combined for a 4.00 goals-against-average and .862 save percentage and Vasquez told HockeyNewsNorth.com “those are stats that need to better.”

But Vasquez isn’t laying all of the blame on goalies Kory Dombrowski, George Hill and Austin Stefan — even if the Fighting Irish recently added a fourth netminder, Jacob Gorzelski.

“We are very young on the blueline with six rookie defenceman and we are working on making that pass out of the zone,” Vasquez said evenly. “Having said that, we have four goalies now and we would like to see improvement in that area.”

As the Fighting Irish works on cutting down its goals against, directing shots at the opposing net has not been an issue for the Detroiters.

“We are an offensive-oriented team and we have guys who can put the puck in the net,” Vasquez noted. “Even at that, we need to capitalize more on our scoring chances.”

Ken Winter leads the Fighting Irish in goals with 13, rugged hombre Jacob Hernandez has 12, mighty-mite rookie Chuck Hicks has 10 and James Smith has netted seven.

Hernandez — a former all-state, high school football star — has been effective on the power play with six goals.

Next up for the Fighting Irish are a pair of home games.

Michigan Ice Dogs, who are just below the Fighting Irish in the standings, visit the Ice Box Sports Centre on Friday night in an 8:10 p.m. start.

Then, on Saturday afternoon, the MC Monarchs, who are just ahead of the Fighting Irish in the standings, are at the Ice Box for a 3:10 p.m. matinee match.

PHOTO: Jacob Hernandez has 12 goals for the Detroit Fighting Irish thus far this MWJHL season.

What you think about “Puck of the Irish”

  1. The inconsistent goal-tending has been a suprise as both Dombroski and Hill are good goalies. Stefan is young, I have not seen him play yet so I will not comment. The other 2 however are good goalies. Perhaps they need to be pushed?!
    Good article Randy, keep up the great work that you do, Sir.

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