Just had a great interview with Flint Generals defenseman Jake Pence, the former Fort Wayne Komet.
Here are some of the things that he said ...
On how the Generals turned things around: "It's one of those things. It just started clicking. We found an identity with the team and we started playing for each other and had no pressure. We just kept playing for the guys in the room, kept it simple and light. We never got down on ourselves."
On whether he has tried to be a leader, having won two Turner Cups: "Guys will come and just ask what the playoffs are like in this league. That's where I have a little more knowledge. But look around the room. We have a guy like Pascal (Rheaume), who has won a Stanley Cup, and we have Bryan Smolinski. We have a wealth of knowledge. I don't think I'm a particular (sounding board) for anybody with too much information."
Even though the Generals knocked off the top-seeded Muskegon Lumberjacks, they like being perceived as underdogs: "I think we'll always be perceived as underdogs, and that's big for us. We have no pressure. Everybody thinks, 'They're Flint and they're just going to lose.' But we like proving people wrong and like the underdog status."
Does he know how to shut down the Komets? "Those guys have got a lot of skill and it's not something you can teach. … I think if we stick to a simple game plan, that's going to work best against Fort Wayne. Having played there, you have so many guys and so much skill, if we're shutting them down somewhere, they'll turn somewhere else and try something new. It'll be a challenge, but one that we're up for."
On the Komets having home-ice advantage: "Speaking for the rest of the guys on the team, we love playing in Fort Wayne because you have the atmosphere we don't have in Flint. You love to play in front of people. It gets you pumped up. Yeah, it's a huge advantage for Fort Wayne, but we really like it, too."
On both teams having come back from 3-1 deficits in the semifinals: "That's pretty funny. You know if Fort Wayne's down, you can't count them out. But I think you have to say the same for us, too. We've been down in a lot of games this year and always battled back. We're resilient, just like Fort Wayne is, too."