Coming off of a Presidents Cup win, Saint Catharines Saints head coach Jeff Dowling went one on one with us about the victory.
Overall thoughts on the championship?
It was pretty special to win the Championship with the Saints. There are a lot of Niagara Lock Monsters on the team, guys that played so well in the winter before the Semi-final upset. This was a big step for a lot of those guys that hadn’t won before. The tournament it self was extremely well run. The Kahnawake Mohawks were great hosts, my hat goes off to them. It was great to see how the guys put aside little petty differences (stuck in hotel room for 8 days with 3 other guys can set you off) to be the team that we needed to be to win. It was also pretty special to win this for Dave. With Matt and I joining the staff just before the playoffs, Dave was taking a bit of a chance risking chemistry, but the guys all bought into what we wanted them to do and Dave can rest easy tonight.
What did it take to build this team?
Dave Colbourne has been building this team for 3 years and each year he has addressed what he felt were the weaknesses. Obviously being able to add local guys like Priolo, Ian Llord and Chris Attwood were huge, but how he was able to get Colin Boucher’s rights is beyond me. The biggest thing about Dave building this team is that they are a team. Not a bunch of guys looking to get paid.
How good were the three goalies?
In the championship game, we expected it to be a low scoring affair. Mike Thompson joined Peterborough late and won the Mann Cup MVP. He is a great goalie and he played really well. We also knew what we had with Jake and we were confident that they style of defence we can play. plays to the style of goaltender Jake is and sure enough, Jake played big and made the saves when he had to. We were lucky to have the top two goalies in GAA and save percentage on our team.
How has Chris Attwood evolved as a player?
Chris Attwood is a very talented player. He still needs to mature some more physically, emotionally and mentally. He can do so many things with the ball that teams tend to watch him when they are covering others. His vision then allows him to hit the cutter. The more he plays at this level, the better chance he will have making the NLL. In fact I’d like to see him there this year so the LockMonsters wont have to face him
What is next for the Saints?
I’m not sure what is next for the Saints. I know the St. Catharines guys just love to play for the home town team so I can’t imagine many of them wanting to go elsewhere. Knowing Dave, he is already looking at what he can add for next year to have a chance to repeat.