By Mark Gokavi
Dayton Daily News
BOISE, Idaho — The Bombers are making boring beautiful, sort of.
“It’s making boring successful,” said Dayton associate head coach Derek Clancey, who is the X’s and O’s coach compared to part-owner and head coach Don MacAdam. “It’s just basically simplicity.”
Dayton has ridden a defensive, predictable style into the ECHL’s Kelly Cup finals, which the Bombers lead 1-0 after a 2-1 victory Wednesday night over Idaho. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is at 9:10 ET on Friday at Qwest Arena.
“At this level, you go through so many things,” Clancey said. “You have 12 players some nights. You’ve got to have a system in place that you can win with 12 players. Really simple. Really basic.”
It’s defense first, second and third. Players describe the “structure” of solid positioning, not taking dumb chances and pouncing on opportunities.
“It’s kind of protect the house first — which is in front of the net,” Bombers forward Paul Kelly said. “We’ll give up perimeter shots, but as long as we don’t give them those quality scoring chances, it all pretty much stems from defense first.”
Bombers defenseman Brad Farynuk compared Dayton to recent New Jersey Devils teams. “We’re not going to try and beat you in 1-on-1s and make fancy, elaborate plays out there,” he said. “We really stress the team concept.”
Idaho coach Derek Laxdal told the Idaho Press-Tribune: “It’s boring, it’s ugly, and you’re not going to sell a lot of tickets for your fans, but you know what? It’s successful for them and they are buying into it.”
The Bombers scored twice Wednesday on breakout plays after turnovers, including the game-winner by Trevor
Frischmon set up by equally speedy Petr Pohl.
“We try to capitalize on mistakes, and you saw it (Wednesday) night,” Kelly said. “We try to take advantage of those little opportunities.”
Boring. Beautiful. Effective.
“Sometimes it gets boring,” Kelly said. “But it wins us games, so no one’s complaining.”