By Debbie Juniewicz
Dayton Daily News
DAYTON, Ohio – A defenseman, a goaltender and a coach have been the Dayton Bombers’ foundation for hockey success this season.
Head coach Don MacAdam credits defenseman Greg Labenski (pictured), goaltender Adam Berkhoel and associate head coach Derek Clancey, all new this season, for inspiring the team to its best ECHL showing in years.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven American Conference Finals with the Florida Everblades, currently tied 1-1, is Saturday at the Nutter Center.
“When you have proven winners, they attract quality people,” MacAdam said. “Those three are all winners.”
Thursday in Estero, Fla., the Everblades scored a 5-3 victory. The winner of the series plays for the Kelly Cup Championship.
“Ideally, it would have been nice to come back 2-0,” MacAdam said. “We lost focus in the second period for at least six or seven minutes, and that made a huge impact on the outcome.”
Keys Saturday, in MacAdam’s mind, will be maintaining focus and staying out of the penalty box.
“Florida is really highly skilled, and fans will see the difference on the ice,” MacAdam said. “This isn’t a November regular-season game. This is the conference finals, and the level is notched up again. This will be the highest level of play fans have seen from us all season.”
• The Everblades’ Vince Bellissimo is second in playoff scoring with 16 points, nine goals and seven assists. Bombers Paul Kelly and Yannick Tifu have each posted 12 playoff points, Kelly with seven goals and Tifu with five.More than hockey is on the agenda Saturday as the Bombers play host to the Florida Everblades for Game 3 of the ECHL’s best-of-seven American Conference Finals.