By Ed Reed
TRENTON, N.J. — Hanging next to Trenton goaltender Andrew Allen’s locker in the Titans’ dressing room before Friday night’s game was a nearly completed poster of the ECHL championship trophy, the Kelly Cup.
Haviland had the picture blown up and cut into 14 pieces — the number of playoff wins a team needs to capture the championship — before the postseason started.
Haviland said he has given his teams a picture to complete in each of his four seasons as a coach. The ploy worked for Atlantic City in 2003 as it won the title using a similar photo of the Cup. Haviland used different photos with Atlantic City in 2002 and 2004, and lost in the Northern Conference Final and North Division semifinals, respectively, those seasons.
“I’ve only been a head coach for four years, but all four years we’ve been in the playoffs, and I try to do something different, and the second year I did this and, I don’t know, I went back to this,” Haviland said.
After each win, the Titans’ coaching staff picks a player of the game and that player is given a piece to put on the poster.
Two pieces that hold the lip of the Cup were missing Friday morning and will be added only if the Titans can win two more games in the Finals.
“I think it’s good to have those little things around the room,” Haviland said. “I’m sure every team has their little thing. I think all teams need that. It brings you together more.”