Knights ‘on the right path,’ making strides in WSHL season
In junior hockey, progress isn’t always measured on what’s lit up on the scoreboard.
For the Phoenix Knights, their Western States Hockey League (WSHL) season has seen the club not play to its full potential over the first half, but coach-GM Mike Bowman knows the team’s best hockey is still ahead.
“The team has come a long way in its defensive zone coverage responsibilities and limiting opponents’ prime scoring chances,” said Bowman. “We have found more ways to generate scoring chances offensively, and have become much more accustomed to the speed of the game and level of play in the WSHL.”
With the Knights in rebuild mode, Bowman added that daily improvement is of the utmost importance.
“We are spending more time working on the finer aspects of the game, as well as continuing to improve our fundamental skills and skating,” Bowman said. “While we will always be a younger team, we strive to be one of the hardest working, most disciplined teams out there with the main goal of developing and advancing our players as the north star.”
Moving forward, Bowman noted that seeing each player have a better game as the one before is a priority.
“We have been able to take major steps forward, but stumble a little bit and have to make up some of that ground the next game,” said Bowman. “We need to take solid steps forward and land firmly, ready to take more steps as we progress. Long term this season, we are focusing on playing like seasoned veterans by the stretch run in January and February. If we are doing the little things right, keep our focus, poise and discipline, we will be well on our way to accomplishing our long-term goals.
“This is a process. We know what we want, how to get it, what the costs and sacrifices are that are associated with it – it’s just a matter of putting it together consistently and everyone buying in to the coaches and the philosophies.”
— Matt Mackinder