Wildcats regroup after loss

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:22 AM ET

BRANDON — The Moncton Wildcats were mere minutes away from being in the driver’s seat.

Instead, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champs are faced with the fact they blew a three-goal cushion in a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to the Calgary Hitmen before a crowd of 5,123 at Westman Place.

The loss leaves the Wildcats at 0-1 and sets up a showdown with the host Brandon Wheat Kings (0-1) Sunday at the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

“Kids have to learn on the job, and it can be painful sometimes,” said Wildcats coach Danny Flynn.

“The biggest lesson you learn in hockey is the one you learn the first day you put on a pair of skates. You fall and you get up and you get up again. We fell today and we have to get up and show if we have the insides that championship teams have.”

The Wildcats don’t have time to dwell on what could have been, but they’ve faced their share of adversity during the playoffs this spring.

“Most of hockey is in the head and you have to try to forget. You can’t keep thinking about this game,” said forward Alex Saulnier. “It’s a short tournament and you have to forget quick. We have to look forward to our next opponent.”

“We just need to regroup and focus on (Sunday’s) game,” added Wildcats goalie Nicola Riopel.

Sunday’s game features two desperate hockey teams who want to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole.

Flynn was succinct when asked what his club needs to do better against the Wheat Kings.

“We have to get back to grinding and working and we need to keep our composure a little bit,” said Flynn. “We got a little nervous at times and didn’t show the composure we needed. Hopefully, we’ll have a little more poise, and hopefully, we can make some of those plays under pressure.”


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