SUN Hockey Pool

Sticky situation for Stoll

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- How would you have liked to be an Easton rep Thursday night?

Jarret Stoll skating down the ice for a shootout attempt, the game on the line, a chance to give his team a victory.

He shoots ... SNAP!

His stick breaks in half on a simple wrist shot, the Oilers go on to lose.

And the centre and the stick company are left with some serious egg on their faces.

"It's frustrating, especially after you switched (stick companies)," said Stoll, who's had all kinds of breakage problems with Louisville in the past. "Things were feeling good with it and all of a sudden it's in your hand in two pieces. It's not a good feeling. It sucks."

It's not the first time, just the most glaring and costly example of Stoll's difficulty keeping his sticks in one piece. Joe Theismann's leg put up a better fight than Stoll's shafts have over the last couple of seasons.

"We have to figure it out," he said. "I've talked with the company. They're supposed to be sending some new ones here (on the trip). It's one of those things where I have to find the right stiffness."

Stoll uses a 105 flex, a little stiffer than the normal 100 flex, but nowhere near as stiff as Sheldon Souray's 125. He says that isn't the problem.

"It's not the flex,"he said. "In the summer I've tried stiffer. I don't know what it is ... the way that I shoot or what."

Souray ran into similar problems in Montreal, before GM Bob Gainey stormed into the dressing room after a playoff game and ordered him to change brands.

"I could shoot the puck harder, for sure, but they weren't dependable. They were breaking on power plays, penalty killing, bad times.

"The final straw for me was in the playoffs. I broke my stick on a penalty kill in overtime and they scored. Bob said 'That's it,' and told the stick company I'm not using them. There was one game left in the series and he said you're not using those sticks anymore."

Souray sympathizes with Stoll's search.

"Your equipment is everything, you have to have stuff that you can count on and feel comfortable with," he said.


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