“No, I am not worried about that.”
That was the response of Guy Perron when he was asked whether or not he wanted to be updated on the score of the Connecticut-New Hampshire game.
More than 24 hours ago, this was a team that looked to be going to the playoffs. One win on Saturday. One win on Sunday. It was supposed to read like that, but it did not. That leads to the here and now. The here and now comes down to a team that extended their silence from yesterday. A silence that is broken by Perron during film sessions.
“I noticed some of you are laughing,” Perron said in response to going over a player who did not execute in the 2-1 loss on Saturday. “If you think this is funny, then that is…”
Exactly. Fill in the blanks.
That is what Perron did after the video session. He filled the faces that were full of blank stares with thoughts on the game. For those who know Perron, they all know that this is a man who usually says the right thing at the right time. Speaking of time, he just had one request of his team.
“We are just asking for 60 minutes,” Perrron said.
Besides asking for 60 minutes, Perron posed another question, “What do we need to do better?”
From there he asked three players that question and none of them knew what to say, but Perron did. He told them how they should be trying to win the last playoff spot outright instead of relying on numbers. After that, it was real simple. It came
down to just more than win or go home.
It came down to win and come back to Boston in a few weeks or lose and go nowhere.
Instead of going nowhere, Perron has his mind in another place. His mind was concentrating on the score of the UConn–UNH game. Although he said that he did not want to know the score of the game, he found out.
It was a 6-0 victory for New Hampshire. Usually it’s in UNH’s best interest not to give a gift to a Maine team, but today was different.
Perron told his staff, and they kept quiet for the rest of the third period.
So with 20 minutes left in the game, the Black Bears were looking to play 60 minutes just like Perron asked for. They needed every last one, as the game was decided in the final five seconds. Freshman forward Patricia Gagnon scored to give the Black Bears the 2-1 win.
With the win came more hope for the playoffs.
On the ride home, the mindset on the bus is one of optimism. That trek across the Charles River is just part of a short drive back to Orono. The silence which dominated a team has now been overtaken by smiles.
Now for Perron and his staff, the only thing to worry about is this — winning two games against the second-place team in the conference to guarantee a playoff spot.