March 27, 2010

NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Midwest Regional
March 27, 2010 | Allen County War Memorial Coliseum | Fort Wayne, Ind.
#1 Miami (OH) RedHawks vs. #4 Alabama-Huntsville Chargers Quotes

Head Coach: Danton Cole, UAH

Opening comments…
“First and foremost congrats to the Miami team. When we weren’t good out there it was because of them. They have a really good chance to win a national championship. We don’t like losing, but [Miami] did a lot of good things out there, and I’m very impressed with them.”

“We battled and battled for 60 minutes. I’m not so proud of them for that because I expect that out of them. They did what they are supposed to do and they worked hard, and they made the university proud. I’m proud of all the hard work they’ve done all year. They’ve improved a lot over the past three years. This is a heck of a bunch of guys, and we’re moving forward with a lot of things and the culture of what we want to do. We have some interesting things ahead of us, but [Brennan Barker and Cameron Talbot] laid a darn good baseline. And I’m proud of them.”

On power play situations…
“Nine power plays were not what we drew up there. They’re dangerous, they do good things, and they kept putting the puck in the net and coming at us. They kept getting on the wrong side of us, and that is to their credit. We didn’t want to get into a nine power play game, but the guys battled pretty hard and did a good job for the most part. They blocked a lot of shots, pressured, and worked. Nine power plays are too many.”

On third period penalty…
“We just kept trying to get some momentum going and trying to get guys involved that aren’t in the penalty kill, but as soon as we got that and a little bit of life it was wiped out by the power plays. It was a good call, and it was tough. The whole third period was that way– we kind of shot ourselves in the foot. We have to give Miami credit for putting us in the situations. Even trying to play with a shorter bench, that is the flow of the game.”

On overall season in perspective….
“I think we’ve had a great year. We’ve moved forward and built on things. It’s tough to go from A to Z in a short period of time. We’ve had some issues down there that we have had to deal with. I think the guys all year long have done a great job. At one point this year, we had four straight 2-1 losses, and a lot of 3-2 wins. It’s been a heck of a year. Realistically and self-appraisingly, one thing you have to look at is how you win games and lose games. In a lot of those losses, we had to give the guys a pat on the back, and sometimes when we lose we are awful, but we had to evaluate them in the same way. We did a lot of good things this year, and the seniors have set a pretty good bar from where we were before. It is a bit of an unknown going into the Independent thing, but there are a lot of good things beyond our record.”

On pulling goalie…
“It’s always tricky to know [when to pull the goalie]. If you go too earlier you can give up a third goal. We had the power play, so we we’re already up a man earlier. There was never really a great time to pull the goalie. It was textbook, though. We pulled the goalie and got a goal.”

Own experience in NCAA w/Michigan St….
“It comes up, but we relate more to things that we have gone through as a team. We can talk about what’s going to happen without talking about when we played. It allows us to bring in other people and other experiences. It’s really more important what is said when the coach leaves the room, not what is said in the room.”

Cameron Talbot, JR

On game experience…
“I was just trying to stay focused and take it four minutes at a time. I just tried to keep us in the game. I knew these guys were going to come battling. “

On the second goal…
“There was a guy coming down the wing, and one on the backside. It was a two-on-two and they threw the puck in the net, and the guy’s stick was just on the wrong angle.”

On Miami….
“They lived up to their expectations for being the number one team in the country. They played a great game and you have to give them credit. As Coach said, nine power plays was not really what we drew up, and the power play was really what beat us. We were there 5-on 5 the whole night. They were a great team, and we wish them luck in the tournament.”

Brennan Barker, SR

On scoring…
“The puck was bouncing around in front of the goal all night. Finally, we got one when desperation set in. We were right there all night getting pucks to the net. Finally, one squeaked in, and then we were just throwing the kitchen sink at the net. It was close, we were right there.” “It didn’t surprise us at all. We knew what to expect going in. They were shifty up front and just executed tonight.” “We were all excited we could come out of our league. We came out on the front side of the CCHA tournament. We wanted to show everybody we were the real deal.

Head Coach: Enrico Blasi, Miami (OH)

Opening statement…
I thought it was a pretty good game on both sides. Our guys did a really good job of being patient. [Curtis McKenzie] scored a really big game for us. We did a lot of good things tonight, but still have some things to improve upon.

On how goalie situation turned out…
We have two number one goalies and our comfortable with both of them. The team is confident in both of them. We knew Cody would come back and play well. That’s a credit to the work ethic he has.”

On wearing out with their lines…
“We’re a puck possession team, and when we’re on [we wear out teams]. I thought we did a good job of that tonight. We just needed to win the game, that;s our first step and now we can worry about tomorrow night.”

On power play and statistics…
“I’m not a big believer in statistics. That’s for you guys to figure out. What we care about is timely goals. Tonight we had two power play goals. And that was the difference in the game. We have a lot of skill on the power plays.”

On getting hard to the net….
“I think we we’re driving the net hard, and the puck just popped up. When you’re going hard at the goal good things happen.”

On ice conditions….
“Towards the end of the goal the ice isn’t very good. There were a lot of bad bounces and plays that were there, but weren’t made because of the ice.”

On staying focused…
“This is our fourth year in the regional finals, and we always play the first game. Now we just have to go back to the hotel, and see who we play. We’ll have a morning skate, talk a little bit and get ready to go.”

On McKenzie’s performance…
“Curtis [McKenzie] is a very gifted, he’s hardnosed player. Earlier in the year, we sat Curtis not just because we’re upset with him, but to show him the type of player we want him to be. When you work hard and when you’re focused, good things happen. I think that’s a credit to Curtis.”

Cody Reichard, SO

On team effort…
“The guys played well all night, so I didn’t have a lot of work. Alabama is a very patient and systematic team.”

On returning back to practice last week…
“Connor and I battle every day, so practice helped us get back into the rhythm of things.”

Curtis McKenzie, FR

On goal…..
“It was just finding myself in the net where I’m supposed to be. I saw Talbot cheating a bit there and just put it over his pad.”

On Alabama and 5-5 power play difference…
“There wasn’t a lot of difference. They’re good defensively. We just executed better on the power play tonight.”

On ice difficulties…
“The ice was probably one of the worst we’ve had all year. Both teams had to deal with it though so it wasn’t an advantage to either team.”