April 13, 2008

Recap | Final Stats

Opening Statement:
First of all, congratulations to Boston College for an outstanding game. I thought they had us on our heels early on with their speed, and I was a little bit surprised that our team played a little too cautious. Little disappointed in the fact that I thought our team could have made some plays and we didn’t. First time being in this event, I think the advantage was theirs as far as the experience factor because our guys responded to that situation. It’s no different than our game against Michigan or UNH or Michigan State. Bottom line is that these kids gave us everything they could in the last couple weeks, and I’m proud of them.

Q: You talked earlier about how disallowed goals have affected the team during the beginning half of the season. Do you think that that goal, that call, somehow stuck in their heads when Boston College came back and scored right away?

A: I think that was the turning point for us. I thought we had something going at that time and I thought we were doing a much better job with the puck. I talked to our guys about showing some poise with the puck because I sensed a level of panic at times with the puck. Not like they were afraid, but more afraid they would make a mistake. It was a turning point in the game, no question about it and we’ve had that happen to us at least ten or twelve times in the second half of the season: disallowed goals, video replay goals, goals that probably shouldn’t have been goals that were allowed to be goals. Q: Talk about Nathan Gerbe and his impact on this game:

A: He’s a dynamic player. As much respect that I have for Kevin Porter, if they named the Hobey Baker after this weekend they may have changed their mind. He’s a tremendous player on the weekend and on the biggest stage. He’s a heck of a player, he’s dynamic and God bless the small guy because he plays fearless. He plays with a lot of jam and skill and has good instincts and he’s a heck of hockey player. He reminds me of another hockey player that use to play for B.C., Brian Gionta, although he might even be quicker than Brian.


Q: Could you talk about the no-goal? How did you see it?

A: Kyle Lawson, So., Defense – To be honest, I didn’t even see the puck come across; I felt the puck hit my skate and then they went to the replay. I didn’t know what the review was going to be. It was a tough break for us, especially for them to get that fluky fourth goal that just about put us away. It was a tough call, but that’s just the way things go sometimes.

Q: Can you comment on Johnny Muse’s play as a freshman goaltender and the poise he showed?

A: Mark Van Guilder, Sr., Forward – He was awesome tonight. It’s pretty special for a freshman to do something like that. His team played awesome in front of him and he made some big saves. He was really good tonight.

Q: Did you guys feel as though you came out a little too cautiously tonight?

A: Lawson – Yeah. I think I mentioned yesterday that we were the new kids on the block and they’ve been here the last three years, but your hindsight is always going to be 20/20 and we can say that as an excuse, but when you get down to it it’s still a hockey game. You can make of the experience what you want, but on that ice the rink is still the same size, you’re still playing the same game. If it’s experience, our guys got a lot of it this year and that’s something to be proud of.

Q: When their defenseman (Carl Sneep) went down in the early in the game, did you feel they upped their intensity defensively and kept you from getting second chance shots.

A: Van Guilder – I thought they were pretty tough all game long in their end. When he went down, they had five guys who picked it up, like we have in the past when we had a key player go down. It’s really too bad getting hurt in a game like this, but his teammates picked up the slack and they were really good in their own end tonight. Lawson – I think a huge thing was their forwards and the speed they have. The D-men definitely stepped up and they’ve got a great back-end, but their forwards kept pressuring us all night. They did such a great job of keeping us from our cycle game and possessing the puck. That’s kind of our bread and butter and when they neutralized that and got it into and up-tempo game that’s when their speed took over.

Q: Could you comment on your power play?

A: Van Guilder – They came pretty hard with a lot of pressure, not letting us get set up. I think we had a couple of plays to be made, but we couldn’t finish. I think we had a couple good looks, but you have to give credit to their penalty killers and their goalie made some big saves on the penalty kill. I think that was the key to the game, their power play was effective and ours weren’t.

Q: Can you talk about defensively how hard it is to keep a player like Nathan Gerbe at bay?

A: Lawson – I think everybody saw that tonight. I don’t know if there’s a kid in the country who works harder than he does and he was finally rewarded to night. He’s a catalyst for that team. He stepped up in the big moments. I think that second goal epitomizes what he is- sprawling out diving and putting it away, it kind of set us on our heels. It’s definitely tough to take, but it’s good to see a kid who works so hard succeed at a moment like this.

Dan VeNard, Sr, D

Q: General reaction:

A: I love all these guys. They’ve worked so hard. It was unbelievable. I’m so proud of everyone and what they did.

Q: What did coach say to the team after the game?

A: He said he was very proud of the way we responded, especially the second half of the game. It’s just tough right now.

Q: On team’s reaction after the disallowed goal:

A: Just keep going. I felt like we were outplaying them in the third period. Even after that goal was disallowed, I felt we played well. We’ve had like seven goals disallowed in these playoffs.

Q: On Boston College:

A: Their freshman goalie played out of his mind tonight. … It’s a testament to Jerry York and his program. Hopefully one day we can be a team that gets here three years in a row.

Brock Sheahan, Sr, D

Q: General reaction:

A: We just didn’t do what we needed to do. I’m upset with the way I played personally. A lot of guys played very well tonight.

Q: On the goal by BC’s Ben Smith just after the Notre Dame goal was disallowed:

A: That shot goes off my shoulder and over Jordan [Pearce]. Giving up that goal is huge. That took away any momentum we had.

Opening Statement
A: Notre Dame and Jeff Jackson remind me a lot of our team in 1998. We were just starting to pick up the pieces and all of a sudden we’re in the Frozen Four playing University of Michigan. That got us over the hump and back at the national level. Notre Dame is at that point now; they’ve reached the national championship game. They’re going to be one of those brand name schools in hockey.

Q: Almost 60 years ago the first BC team won; do you have any connections with that team?

A: Right after the regional, one of our players said “in nine days, our season is over”, but we stress the fact that when you win a national championship, you’re season never ends because you refer back to your teams.

Q: What was the turning point in the season that started the winning streak?

A: The defining moment was the last game of our regular season. We were traveling to Northeastern and the winner gets home ice. If we lose that game, we would travel. We won that game and haven’t lost a game since.

Q: How does it feel to be part of the special Boston mix in sports?

A: It’s similar to Denver where all four of the pro-sports play in the city. It’s great to be able to join the Red Sox, hopefully the Celtics, and the Patriots. We’ve got some real connections here; the Red Sox come over and work out in our strength and conditioning room in the winter months. It’s a great time to be successful in our city now.

Q: What was your defensive strategy?

A: We don’t really have a strategy other than how we okay all year, it’s just execution. Notre Dame has some real offensive players like Thang and Van Guilder; they can handle and move the pucks. We just try to play good, solid defense, but we didn’t have any particular strategy for Notre Dame.


Mike Brennan, Sr., Defense

Q: When Carl Sneep went down how did you guys rally?

A: The ‘D’ corps decided we had to keep things simple, we’re going to be out there logging a lot of minutes and you can’t be as physical as you want to be. Keeping things simple was our goal. Carl Sneep is a great player and he’s one of our big time defensemen back there and when he went down it was a little bit of an eye-opener. This team is never phased whatever the score is, whatever happens in the game we always stick to our objectives.

Q: Mike, can you talk about the penalty kill?

A: Going into this tournament we knew we were going to have to kill penalties. Maybe we took a little too many that we didn’t want to take. But we knew when we took them we were going to kill them. The biggest thing is having confidence in your “PK” when you’re out there.

Q: Mike is there a sense of fulfillment taking that jersey off tonight?

A: We talked the other day, and if you lose you know it’s not going to be the same thing, it really wouldn’t have been the same feeling taking it off. Every time when I put this jersey on, every time I’ve been given the “C” I just took pride in putting it on every single game. Luckily I got 168 games in this jersey and when I take it off it’s going to be a shocker. I’ve bled in it, I sweat in it, I was with my teammates in it. It’s the best four years of my life, but coach always said you want the next four years to be the best. I’ll be satisfied with what’s happened the next few years. This is what I wanted this is what the team wanted.

Nathan Gerbe, Jr., Forward

Q: Five goals, three assists…talk about it.

A: I don’t really think about it at all. It’s just numbers to me. The biggest thing is this trophy right next to us. We’ll do whatever it takes to get that. A lot of guys stepped up. Tonight was just a night where everyone stepped up a notch to get a championship.

Q: Nate how do you make up for your lack of size out there?

A: I just try and do it with my grit and speed. You’ve got to use your strengths and not your weaknesses. Obviously I’m not big, so I’m not going to go plowing someone over, but I still finish checks and bug people out there.

Q: Talk about the play of your freshman goalie.

A: John (Muse) has been unbelievable. Now he has a championship under his belt. That’s a huge thing to stand on. Some goaltenders couldn’t do that like Cory Schneider and Scott Clemmensen didn’t and those are two great goalies. He’s been great all year and one of the poised kids I’ve ever met. He’s calm and he never panics and now tonight he’s a champion.

Ben Smith, So., Forward

Q: On his goal half a minute after the disallowed Notre Dame goal:

A: I have no idea how it went in. I was lying on my back I think and I saw Gerbe coming toward me with his hands up. … It was a huge shift in the game to get that goal. … (During the replay timeout) Coach just told us to be ready either way, to come out hard the next shift.

Q: On the season:

A: It’s unbelievable. No one thought we’d even be in Denver. To pull through, to persevere, that’s a testament to the guys on this team and the leaders and the coaches.

Brian Gibbons, Fr., Forward

Q: On winning title:

A: I’m thoughtless, speechless, got chills up and down my body. I don’t want to get undressed. … We had a lot of doubters outside the team, but we never doubted ourselves and we stuck to our game plan.

Q: On his linemates:

A: Gerbe and Ben Smith are just so good, I’m so lucky to play with those guys as good as they are. I just try to stay out of their way.

Q: On goalie John Muse:

A: He’s my roommate and I played with John in the past. He’s gotten so much better every day in practice to get to this point in the season, and he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves. … He took a nap about an hour before we left or the rink. He’s just so cool, calm and collected.

John Muse, Fr., Goaltender

Q: On disallowed goal:

A: That was a huge turning point in the game. If they got that goal they would have cut the lead to one, then Ben Smith got that fourth goal, which was huge. I thought the [Notre Dame] guy put his skates together to try to knock the puck into the net.

Kyle Kucharski, Jr., Forward

Q: On Notre Dame’s style:

A: We knew they were a patient team and you have to play a certain style of game to beat them. We had to sit back and wait for our chances.

Q: General reaction:

A: I’m ecstatic. Words can’t explain it. The past two years, getting here and falling short, I’m so proud for what this means to the seniors. We owe it all to them.

On why Notre Dame’s third-period goal was disallowed:
A: The puck was kicked into the net by the Notre Dame player’s right skate. The skate was moving toward the goal line. There were sticks in the crease and we needed to make sure there wasn’t a deflection off the sticks or the defender’s skates after it was kicked.