Not too many professional athletic teams have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.
It's never happened in the World Series. It's never happened in the NBA playoffs. It's happened in the National Hockey League only twice - in the 1942 finals and a 1975 quarterfinal match between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh. In the International Hockey League, no team in 45 years has overcome a 3-0 deficit in the finals. IHL officials aren't sure if any team has been down 3-0 and won a preliminary-round series.Those are the odds facing the Salt Lake Golden Eagles as they approach Game 4 of the IHL Turner Cup playoffs Wednesday night in the Salt Palace against Phoenix."We've dug a big hole for ourselves," acknowledges Coach Bob Francis, who watched his team lose two games in Phoenix over the weekend. But he also says his team won't be feeling the pressure it has in previous games.
"The pressure is off," he said. "At this point we're not overly-concerned about losing. We just have to take it one game at a time. We're not going to get the four (wins) without the first."
The Eagles finished 20 points ahead of the Roadrunners during the regular season, but haven't been able to snatch a victory in the first three playoff games. After getting beaten 6-4 at the Salt Palace in Game 1, the Eagles played well enough in Phoenix to lead 5-4 in the third period of each game. But Phoenix came back to win both games 6-5 and 7-5.
"The players are frustrated," said Francis. "We haven't gotten the breaks. And we've made some bad decisions that have cost us. But give Phoenix credit. They have a skilled lineup and are playing well."
Defense has been one of the Eagles big problems in the series. In three games they've given up 19 goals, but Francis isn't blaming his goaltenders.
"Our overall defense has been a disappointment," he said. "You can't win many games giving up that many goals."
Francis indicated he'll go with Warren Sharples in goal Wednesday even though Steve Guenette is fit to play. Guenette suffered a mild concussion late in the second period Saturday when he was knocked into a goalpost, but is OK now.