March 28, 2008
2008 NCAA MEN'S ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
NORTHEAST REGIONAL DCU CENTER WORCESTER, MASS.
BOSTON COLLEGE PRE-TOURNAMENT PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
MARCH 28, 2008
Head Coach Jerry York, Senior Defensemen Michael Brennan, Senior Forward Matt Greene
York: It's a terrific day to be involved with a college hockey team. Sixteen of us have a chance so far after going through such a process of competing for a national title. I think the way the NCAA is handling everything with the four regions it just seems so much clearer and so much better for a coach to win your region, there is no bias involved. So we've really taken a lot of great steps forward. I think we deserve a lot of credit for that. We're genuinely excited about coming back to the NCAA tournament. We think the region is certain close to our fan base, it makes it easier for our students and for my immediate family. So it's a lot of pluses for us. But still, no matter how far you travel or how few miles you travel, you still have to play well to advance. All of the four teams here would like to get to Denver and play for the national title. We have our work cut out for us. Our team is a team that has impressed me throughout the year in a lot of different areas but probably the most important is that we went through two winless streaks of five games once in November and once in February into March. During those stretches, our teams stayed as a team, we stayed focused, and there were no fractures in our club. I don't know if it's the best team I've coached but it's certainly the best team in respect to being a team through our ups and downs. I think we've weathered those storms. We just got hot goaltending and a lot of good play for different people, to take us from that winless streak to our last game in the regular season at Northeastern to perhaps play one of our best games, then it just carried over through our playoffs with Providence and with a long, long game with New Hampshire and into the finals with Vermont and now we find ourselves here in Worcester. So we are excited for a lot of different things, I know our club is happy to advance to regional play.
Can you take us through your February and March run and what it took to keep the team together?
Brennan: It has been a rollercoaster type of year and we hit some lows where we've been tested a little, but the biggest thing is that we have stayed together as a team. We had a couple of closed door meetings to figure out what we were going to do about it. The biggest thing was staying positive and our locker room never doubted that we had the talent to win hockey games and win Hockey East. That's what we did and I think we have been peaking at the right time and we are very excited to play Minnesota. I think it's going to be a great game.
Greene: I think the most important thing is remember how good of a team we had when we were going through those winless streaks. The second you begin to doubt your teammates and your coaches, it's going to be a long season. Right now it seems the puzzles are falling into place and we are going to have to prove that to a very good Minnesota team.
What are you gentlemen expecting from Minnesota even though you haven't played them this year I am sure you have seen tape?
Brennan: From looking at tape you can tell they are a team that skates very well and moves the puck quickly, and they have very good goalie. But Minnesota is no different than any other team as far as preparing ourselves for the game. We will prep the same way we prep for any other team.
Greene: Talking to friends on other teams that have played them, we have heard that their goalie is playing incredible. Just like Boston College there is a lot of tradition that goes along with playing for Minnesota and it should be a great game.
You've got a milestone victory coming up next. Does that enter your mind at a time like this?
York: I've always though that you concentrate on what's important for us as we advance in the tournament. To advance we have to play very, very well. So I haven't honestly thought of that. We are prepared to play the goal first and we've never mentioned it to the team so I don't make a big deal of it.
When you didn't get a chance to play the Gophers in the regular seson, you were disappointed. Is it nice that you are now matched up again for this tournament?
York: Michigan disappointed us by playing so well against us in the Ice Breaker, so we didn't make it to the final. Then RIT upset us, too. But we look forward to playing them, its going to be a good match up.
The Gophers have a freshman goalie but so do you guys. What has your goalie meant to you this year doing as well as he has?
York: When Corey Schneider left to turn pro in late June, John [Muse] was coming in right out of the prep school range. He has played all 40 games for us, I think that's been a real significant factor in our season because we only have one goaltender on scholarship and everything was kind of based on John playing well. I never thought that he would play every single game like that. He has shown a lot of durability. He competes very, very well and I think it's a real good match up with the two young goaltenders.
Talk a little bit about Nathan Gerbe, what is he doing out there for you guys that compensates for his size?
York: He's just a dynamic player. There have been a number of players like him in the college rinks. These are the types of players that make college hockey so exciting. He's quick, fast, he really anticipates the play. He doesn't take many shifts off. He's out there every game. He competes like crazy. He really has high end skills that match his skating. His size is not a factor. He's so strong physically. When you look at him he's a muscular young kid. He's just fun to coach, that's for sure.
Minnesota is made up of a lot of Minnesota kids. You have a lot of Massachusetts kids and always have had guys from Massachusetts on your roster. Do you take a certain pride in having kids?
York: We look first and foremost at local kids. We recruit them really hard. We have battles with all the local schools for particular players. We have 20 players from greater Boston. But with all the expansion teams its makes us think we need to look at good players from all areas.