Flyers coach reflects on series, season
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The Times had the opportunity earlier this month to sit down with Kapuskasing Dufour Waste Disposal Flyers head coach Pat Millette and talk about both the championship series against the North Bay Trappers and the 2016-2017 campaign as a whole.
Millette commented that the five-game championship loss to the Trappers came down to essentially a couple of “bad bounces”.
“The biggest difference was that in games one and three, we lost by one bounce. We had our chances but couldn’t capitalize,” said Millette. “We came back in games two and four and had really good outings. North Bay came out very aggressive in the last game and we made more mistakes than them. We had a one-goal lead early and had some more chances. If we could have got to that two-goal cushion, I think we would have won it.”
Millette said despite the championship loss, that he was very proud of his charges, not just as hockey players, but as people.
“Off of the ice, I’m very proud of this group. Yes we would have liked a different result, but it’s not all about results,” he commented. “Everywhere we went this year, be it a rink, a restaurant, a hotel, etc. people would tell us that we had a good and respectful bunch of kids. That’s the biggest takeaway from our season is that we feel we helped in getting these kids ready for life.
The coach said his admiration also translated to the on-ice product.
“I’m also proud of the way this group handled all sorts of adversity it faced throughout the season, fighting through it and still coming out with a good result,” he stated. “We finished the season with 51 points, which is the second highest regular season total in the history of this club. Even though we finished fourth, we had a very successful season.”
With a large number of this year’s players aging out of midget, Millette was asked if he had a message for those, who would not be back next season.
“I’d like to thank them for their leadership and helping each other and the younger guys grow,” he said. “If there’s one thing I’d like them to take with them from this season, it’s to not be satisfied with where you’re at. Continue to push yourselves to be better, not just in hockey, but in life.”