There weren’t a lot of Titans fans in Reading on Friday night, but those who did come certainly got quite a show. You can read my game story in the paper here for more on the Sovereign Center slugfest, but I did want to pass along Vince Williams’ complete comments from last night as well.
And for as critical as he was of the officiating, and that quote is in The Trentonian, Royals head coach Larry Courville took it a step further with Reading reporters, saying he felt referee Chris Pitoscia should be evaluated by the league for letting the game get out of control last night. There was only so much he could have done, surely…but things got completely out of hand in the third period, and both teams were one bad decision away from a full 18-on-18 brawl at the “end” of the game after the final whistle was — and this was admitted by both sides — horribly botched.
Anyway, here’s what Williams had to tell me — I was the only writer in the Trenton room — after the game:
“It was evident that a lot of the (early) goals were just little stick battles…we just had to chalk (the first two periods) up as a good dose of reality. We’ve had some success because we’ve been working hard and playing the right way…we won the (third) period going into tomorrow. They went out after the second, and we talked about what we weren’t doing right and how we can make up for it, and that’s by doing things hard. And that’s the good thing, it’s easy to fix when we just get back to the structure.”
“We put ourselves (down 5-1) by not working. Nobody quit, nobody mailed it in. We went out and got a couple bounces and had a couple guys sticking up for each other and a few fights. Guys respond because they’re a little bit pissed off, and that’s the kind of response you want. You don’t want anything stupid or dirty, but you want guys to have a high care factor. You wouldn’t have had the period you had if you if it didn’t affect them. We weren’t very good in those first two periods, but we have to be that much better tomorrow.”
“I still think there was five seconds left in the game. The clock ran down, and that was the second time they did it in the third period. That’s five seconds in the third period, that’s a draw in the neutral zone. One little play, it’s a shot. That shot can be a goal, I don’t know.”
“We play them tomorrow. We don’t want suspensions and stuff like that, we don’t know what’s going to happen. At least someone did something about it. And it wasn’t just one guy…Slater, Carrier, Mangene, Taylor…it’s part of the game. It’s a rivalry and it’s heated up. I’m not saying that we sent guys out, that’s not the case, but guys took matters into their own hands, and sometimes it happens in the game and the heat of the moment. It’s emotion because they’re upset with what happened, and that’s how they responded. But it should have been stopped with the instigator (on Paquette) with Mangene. Granted, he did what he did, but (Paquette) still had his gloves on (when he was attacking Mangene after the spear) and that could have been ended right there, and it didn’t. But, you’ve got to take the positives from a game like this and move on and go back to work.”
“(This series) has been like that ever since Trenton and Reading have been in the league. We play each other, this is what, game nine? We’re 30 games in, that’s one third of our game total. So there’s certainly going to be a rivalry, but that’s part of the culture of this league, and it’s something that stemmed from the days when I played. I played against Larry, we both know how this rivalry works and what it’s about.”
“Two points tomorrow is bigger than anything, than settling a score.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com