March 29, 2008
2008 NCAA MEN'S ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
NORTHEAST REGIONAL DCU CENTER WORCESTER, MASS.
MIAMI (OHIO) POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
MARCH 29, 2008
Head Coach Rico Blasi, Senior Forward Ryan Jones, Junior Forward Justin Mercier
Blasi: It went the way we thought it was going to go. That game could have gone either way. We knew how well Air Force can play and it was no absolutely surprise to us. They did a great job and it ended up being an opportunity in overtime, it could have gone either way. This time of year that's the way it goes and you hope to be on the winning side of it.
Were you aiming low stick side on Andrew Volkening when you had the breakaway in overtime?
Jones: Yes I was aiming low stick side. The pass came from the right side and he (Volkening) was moving form right to left and it just got a piece of his stick.
Take us through the winning goal?
Mercier: The puck became loose in the neutral zone and I knew I could take advantage of the defensemen if I got him turning. I took the puck to the net made a move to the outside hoping to get a shot on net.
What did you guys think about the Air Force Goalie, Andrew Volkening?
Jones: He made some really big saves and he's a big goalie that takes up a lot of the net.
Mercier: You notice the teams that make it to the next round have really good goaltending. He gave his team a chance to win.
Justin, how much of a sense of desperation was there, or were you just playing hockey?
Mercier: Well I think in any overtime game you're playing with a strong sense of desperation, and especially in any playoff game that goes into overtime where one goal and it's over.
What is the status Nathan Davis (injured in the beginning of the game)?
Blasi: I'm not sure, he had some ice on the upper body. It was kind of an upper body injury. I don't expect him to be back.
What concerns you about your next opponent, Boston College or Minnesota.
Blasi: They're both great teams, we've had the opportunity to watch them as a staff and we pre-scouted them all week and we feel like we know what they can do. Obviously, Boston College has great speed and forwards that can hurt you up and down their lineup. Their defense is of course pretty good and we're familiar with them from the last couple of years. Minnesota, they're playing some of the best hockey that anybody's playing. Over the last five or six weeks, they've had to play playoff hockey up to this point.
Tonight's effort - will it be good enough for tomorrow night?
Blasi: I think we played good tonight, Air Force is a damn good hockey team and we had a lot of respect for them going into the week. [Overtime] shouldn't be surprising. You win a championship in a conference of 10 teams, you're doing something right. I thought we played well, we sustained pressure, we made plays. We had good goaltending. Nathan Davis went down early so we had to juggle lines and I was proud of how our team played. Is it good enough for tomorrow? I don't know, but we're going to leave it all on the ice and whoever we play, we'll figure out a game plan and go from there.
What was the dynamic behind the bench in overtime.
Blasi: We pretty much stayed quiet and let [the players] do their thing. We've been in this situation before; our guys had a sense of confidence. There hasn't been any panic in this team all year. You see it in our leadership. They don't crack under pressure. The guys are pretty calm and they know what they can do. You've just got to go out there and play.
Discuss how the offense played tonight.
Blasi: A little of that had to do with their goaltender, I think we had three open net opportunities that either he made a big save or we didn't execute, and those things are going to happen. You need to stay in the game, but no question, we have to bury our chances.