Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Frozen Four: Quotable, Part II

ST. PAUL -- Here are a few quotes from Wednesday's press conferences involving Michigan and North Dakota.

Michigan coach Red Berenson on being in Minnesota: “It is interesting that this senior class played their first ever college game in this building. We are proud to be here and we want to put our best foot forward in this tournament. Our program has been in this tournament since I have been here 11 times, only getting to the championship twice.”

Berenson on finding a way to slow down North Dakota: “We need to play our game, and if we let them do what they are good at, they will do it. We need to stay on the ice, be responsible with the puck and be ultra responsible without the puck. If you give this team out-numbered rushes and power-plays they will take you right out of the game."

Berenson on how Michigan can win the game: “Stranger things have happened. You need good goalkeeping, good penalty killing, good back checking, good play coming out of your zone and you need to be opportunistic. We know they are a better team, but we are going to come and play hard."

(Insert eye roll here. Berenson and Denver's George Gwozdecky clearly went to the same sand-bagging school. You'd think North Dakota was playing American International on Thursday.)

Forward Louie Caporusso on what is likely to be a hostile crowd Thursday: “North Dakota is going to have a lot of fans here, but we’re not concerned about the rink or who is coming, we are just concerned with how we are going to play. We have played in these types of atmospheres before; where the other team is bring a lot of noise. I don’t think it has affected us before. We like playing on the road, so if it’s a hostile atmosphere, so be it.”

Forward Carl Hagelin on the difference between this Michigan team and when he was a younger player there: “Maybe this year we are more of a team then we were our freshman year. Back then we had more of a core group of players scoring all the goals and this year we are better defensively and if we want to do better that’s what it’s going to come down to.”

Hagelin on thriving in anti-Michigan environments like what they expect Thursday: “Yeah I think it will help us. It doesn’t matter where we play we just have to focus on our task and that is to win the game tomorrow. Every guy on our team is excited and we know it’s going to be packed but we just have to play our game.”

North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol on trying to keep a relatively normal routine for his team: "I don’t know if you would call it absolutely routine, but obviously you try to keep everything that’s under your control into a fairly regular routine. Our guys have talked about it, enjoy the day, have a little bit of fun, but when it’s time to work, go to work and do our jobs. So far today our guys have done a good job on all of those things, and we’ll continue with our day.”

Hakstol on his senior class: “They’ve played such a huge role. They’re the leadership core of this group, which starts with our seven seniors. Our senior class is a great group of young men. They’re extremely resilient and they’ve stuck together over four years. One of the best compliments that I can pay to them is that they’re great teammates, they work hard and they have fun, and they do all those things together. That’s been a real strengthening bond for them and that’s trickled down to our entire hockey team in the locker room.”

Defenseman Chay Genoway on his return for a fifth year at UND: “It has been a great experience so far. Obviously last year was a tough one for me personally. Just to have the chance to do it over again has been pretty special. For this year’s senior class to take me and to have the opportunity to join their class has been a pretty cool thing. They are a group of six guys that are pretty tight knit. It has been a fun ride so far and hopefully we have a lot of memories to come.”

Forward Brad Malone on the key to their long unbeaten streak (UND hasn't lost since Jan. 28): “We focus at the task at hand. What is behind us is behind us. I don’t think that is what is pushing us. We are focused on tomorrow and getting a win and that is all that really matters.”

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