Boston College Press Conference Quotes

MARCH 26, 2010

Head Coach Jerry York, Junior Goaltender John Muse, Senior Forward Matt Price

Opening Statement:
: “Well certainly it’s great to be back. You don’t realize how much you miss the national tournament until you sit out a year. Last year we had a disappointing year in the fact that we could not make the national tournament. We were really excited – I mean the kids are jumpy. Just a terrific clamor in the locker room and practices and the bus coming up here today. It’s an event we all look forward to, and (at) BC in particular, our kids, like I said, are very excited. I think our overall year, we’ve had a good year. We had a little bit of a down spell right after Christmas, and we were able to bring it back to a very good finish for us, going through the Lamoriello Cup. So I think our team played very solid in all three zones. We are getting good play by Johnny Muse in goal. I look forward to the competition. I have watched Alaska on tape, (and) they are quick. One of our biggest assets is out speed and our quickness, and certainly Alaska matches that – they are a very quick team. Dallas Ferguson has done an outstanding job… For them to come out of the CCHA conference, similar to our conference in that they have to beat the likes of Michigan State, Notre Dame, Miami to get here. So they come with some good credentials and we look forward to the challenge there.”

On not making the tournament last year:
“Being at a program like BC, we always shoot for the national (tournament) and we’re expected to get there, and last year obviously we didn’t accomplish what we wanted to. So this year definitely, one of our biggest goals was to get back here. And coach hit it on the head there. We’re hungry as ever. Guys are excited. We have a lot of young guys who haven’t been here before, so its been kind of an exciting feeling in the locker room. Those guys are excited to be here for the first time, and then the juniors and seniors who have been here are just as excited. That one year layoff was tough to swallow. So I think the opportunity to play against some of the best players and teams in the country is exciting, and we’re happy to bring our team here and compete.”

On team motivation:
“I think for one, last year’s outcome is a great motivational piece for us, its pretty tough when you go from the highest of highs in college hockey to pretty much the lowest of lows, not even making the national tournament... I know that’s on all our minds, last year not even making it. It showed over the summer how hard we worked as a team at Boston College all summer long, working out and getting ready for the season. I think we’ve carried that motivation throughout the season.”
“We want to be at the peak of our sport, and this is it, being at the national championship. So I think that’s what motivates us. Every guy wants to be the best player they can be, and as a team we want to be the best team we can be, so I think together we’re pushing each other to accomplish our goals.”

On the movie 300:
: “Leonidas before every battle, his warriors would have a twig and they’d go up to Leonidas and they’d rip off half of it and they’d give it to Leonidas and that was kind of their human portion of themselves, representing their compassion and their love for each other and their families. And the other half represented the warrior in each of them, so it was kind of giving away that part of you that makes you a human being and you’re leaving and going into battle with what makes you a warrior. And for us, that’s represented in our dog tags, on one side it’s BC and on the other side it’s got our names, and so before each game we’re kind of shedding our name and along with that comes everything that makes us a great friend back at school, great student, whatever that may be, and we’re keeping the BC part, that’s the teammate, the warrior that’s going into battle on the ice”
: “We’re keeping the BC logo in our stalls during games. That shows that everybody can trust everyone else, everyone has that in the locker room. You look across the locker room and you see that the guy across the way has the same thing. You know that he’s going to be battling just as hard as you are for our goal, which is to win each game from here on out.”

On defensive development:
“They had confidence and they were ready to go as soon as they came in this year. They’ve only gotten better over time. They’re a huge part of our success, just because there are so many of them back there. It’s been great working with them.”

On young players playing in the tournament for the first time:
: “It’s another step in the development process... They have all competed well and that was a step that was a big step for them. They have had a lot of minutes during the course of the year. But I think they’ve had some great mentors, with seven players that played in the championship two years ago. There is still enough strong leadership in the locker room that they can look to their work habits and just how to handle themselves and I think those seven, in particular the four seniors, have done a great job in a kind of mentorship role for us.”

On the inspiration for the Ben Smith line:
: “During the course of the year you try to experiment and what, and evaluate who plays well and then who plays well with each other… I thought when we saw the make up of these three guys, all big strong players, they all enjoy battling in the corners and they seem to get along very, very well off the ice. Benny’s a senior, Jimmy Hayes has really progressed as a second year student with us, and then Chris Kreider came in and going through the ups and downs of the freshman year. Benny Smith is kind of in charge of the line and wears an ‘A’ on his shirt. They understand how to play really strong hockey in the offensive zone. They don’t give up pucks making fancy plays. They really cycle the puck, keep it down low. Their offensive production is really from the dots down… They are hard to handle. They just mesh very well… Those three guys are certainly key guys for us.”

On Alaska-Fairbanks:
: “I had to re-evaluate them… My initial calls out to the coaching fraternity were that they were very strong defensively and (had) an excellent goaltender. But watching them on tape I was more impressed with how fast they get up and down the ice… They play very quick, quicker than I thought after watching the tapes. We are going to be matched, I think, with speed back and forth. But their goaltender comes as advertised, a real strong goaltender. I think we are going to play just good solid hockey and prevent their speed from being a factor by negating it with our speed. They’ve got a good club… They are right there.”

On the sophomore class:
: “They were all kind of up and down their freshman year. But this year, I think they really understand how they have to work and how dedicated you have to be to become a top end player, and they’ve had an outstanding season… Right down the list of the sophomores, they are a really good core of players. So we are excited about their progress. Last year I thought they struggled a lot and this year they are much, much better.”