The way Derian Gould sees it, drive the dagger into the heart of your opponent at the first opportunity.
Gould is anxious to see how his Elwood High Lakers fare against the Stephenville High Spartans when the two rivals clash in Game 1 of the West Coast High School Hockey League best-of-three final series tonight, 6:30 p.m. at the Stephenville Dome.
“Big win needed for sure,” Lakers forward Gould said.
“It’s always good to put the other team on their heels. It’s good to steal one on the road.”
Jordi Green is the goaltender for the Spartans who will have a say in how things unfold. He says his team is confident heading into the series and acknowledged the Spartans won two out of the three games the two teams played against each other in the regular season.
“Play as a team not as an individual,” Green said of what the Spartans need to do to win.
“Work together, work hard and everybody do their part.”
Gould is one of the snipers Green feels the Spartans will have to keep in check, but he also knows he has to have a solid outing to give his team a chance to win.
“There’s some pressure I guess, but if everyone does their part it makes it a lot easier on me,” he said. “(I have to) make sure I’m ready and stop as much as I can.”
Gould, for his part, is aware of how the two teams battled hard against each other in the regular season. He isn’t going to make the mistake of taking any opponent lightly.
“It was always close every game. There weren’t any blowouts and everybody is stepping it up for the playoffs,” Gould said.
Thomas Chaulk, a forward with the Lakers, believes his team is ready to battle.
“Our chances are pretty good,” he said. “We’re just going to have to work hard like we did against Gros Morne. We just can’t take anything for granted.”
Defence will be the key to knocking off the Spartans, said Chaulk, whose focus will be on setting up plays and trying to provide some offence — but not before his defensive responsibilities.
“You got to protect your own zone before you can score a goal,” he said. “You have to stop them first.”
One thing both sides agree on is that it will be entertaining hockey.
“If both teams play to their potential it should be a great series,” Chaulk said.
“I think it’s going to be really close. It’s going to go down to the last minute of the game.”
Green added, “We got a good team and we should have a good chance. Shoot the puck and play good defence and we should do good.”
Game 2 of the series will be played Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex in Deer Lake. Game 3, if necessary, will be played Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Stephenville Dome.