By Chris Langrill
The Idaho Statesman
DAYTON, Ohio — If there’s one lesson to be learned about the Dayton Bombers in the 2007 playoffs it’s that nothing comes easy for the team.
And it’s driving the Bombers’ coach up a wall.
“We make everything hard,” Dayton coach Derek Clancey said. “I don’t know why we’re like that.”
The Bombers are trailing the Idaho Steelheads 2-1 in the Kelly Cup Finals heading into Game 4 at 7 on Tuesday at the Nutter Center.
But don’t expect the Bombers to quit because they’re in a hole. They’ve been through this before. They trailed Cincinnati 3-1 in the North Division Finals before winning that series in seven games. In the American Conference Finals, they trailed Florida 2-1 before winning in another Game 7 to advance to the ECHL championship against Idaho.
“I guess you don’t get here without being resilient and going through some adversity,” Clancey said.
Still, what’s bothering the coach in the Kelly Cup Finals is the Bombers seem to be getting away from the style of play that got them this far.
“I think anybody that described our team would say that we’re defensively sound,” Clancey said. “But right now we’re just not like that.”
After winning Game 1, the Bombers have lost two in a row to Idaho and have been outshot 74-47 in those two games.
“We’re allowing way too many shots,” Clancey said. “Right now, we’re playing as individuals and we’re not playing as a group. We’re getting spread out and guys are cheating on the play from time to time.”
Steelheads coach Derek Laxdal hopes that trend continues.
“They rely on their defensive systems, and if we can expose that by whatever means, then when you get that opportunity you have to make it count,” he said. “Right now, we’re making that opportunity count.”