By Debbie Juniewicz
Dayton Daily News
The Dayton Bombers are right at home in Idaho — the land of the spud.
“We play meat-and-potatoes hockey,” Bombers coach Don MacAdam said. “We’re not fancy, and any time we’ve tried to get fancy, it’s exploded in our faces like a potato in the microwave.”
After an uneventful charter flight to Boise, the Bombers have settled in for the opening two games against the Idaho Steelheads in the best-of-seven Kelly Cup Finals at Qwest Arena. The Bombers, in their first finals since 2002, were all business at practice Tuesday.
Game 1 is Wednesday.
“We had a good practice, maybe too good,” MacAdam said. “You don’t want it to seem easy.”
The road to the finals has been anything but easy for Dayton. After sweeping Trenton 3-0, the Bombers pushed each of their next two series to a Game 7.
“Each series has been different, but one constant is that we typically thrive under pressure,” MacAdam said.
Facing Idaho will provide plenty of pressure. The Steelheads have a tradition of postseason success. They won the Kelly Cup in 2004 and haven’t missed the playoffs since joining the ECHL in 2003.
According to MacAdam, the Bombers aren’t excited — they are focused.
“With these guys, it’s not so much about being fired up,” he said. “This is a group of guys that is very matter-of-fact. They know exactly how they need to play to win.”
It matters little that the Bombers and Steelheads haven’t faced each other in three years or that scouting reports are all MacAdam has had to work from.
“Even if we knew more about them, we have no intention of changing anything,” MacAdam said.