March 29, 2008
2008 NCAA MEN'S ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
NORTHEAST REGIONAL DCU CENTER WORCESTER, MASS.
MINNESOTA POST-TOURNAMENT PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
MARCH 29, 2008
Head Coach Don Lucia, Senior Forward Ben Gordon, Senior Forward Mike Howe
Lucia: First I would like to congratulate Gary on his 800th win. I was hoping it would wait till the fall but BC is obviously a good team and opportunistic. We knew we couldn't get into a shoot-out with them tonight. We knew we had to win a 3-2 type of game and we just couldn't hold them to two.
They were pretty much taking it to you in the second period, and Blake hit the cross bar and after that it seemed like you had trouble getting your momentum back?
Gordon: It was a back and forth game for a little bit and we kind of came out and gave them too much respect in the first period. I think we had some nervous tension but as the game went on we got stronger and we got more settled and more comfortable and didn't let the nerves get in the way. There were times when we did take it to them and times when they took it to us, but that's what's going to happen in the post-season.
Ben, can you talk a little bit about the goal at the end that gave you a little bit more life, a second chance?
Gordon: I don't really know much about it besides the fact that I just shot it and we all thought it went in so we tried to play to get a whistle to see if we could get the clock reset.
It's your last game in a Minnesota uniform. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Howe: It's pretty emotional. The last four years have been years I'll never forget. Losing the way we did today, we fought real hard, we just didn't get a couple bounces to go our way. Playing for the University of Minnesota has meant the world to me. It's sad to say goodbye this way.
Gordon: For me, I guess the hardest part is saying goodbye to a lot of good friends that we've made over the years. I just want to say a special thanks to my class. They are some of my best friends in the whole world. I am so fortunate to get a chance to play for this school and with such a great coaching staff. I've loved it.
When you got that goal with 3:27 left did you actually think, maybe you had one more miracle up your sleeve?
Howe: That something we always say on our bench, when we're down no one gives up until the final buzzer. Once we got that goal we had a couple chances after that and it came right down to the wire. I guess it kind of gave us a little more of a chance but unfortunately it didn't go our way.
What do you think Boston College did best?
Lucia: They're a good transition team and we knew that. There were a lot of penalties right away. It was hard to get into the flow of the game. I thought we got better when we could roll our lines a little more in the second and third periods. They have really high skilled players and they're really good around the net. They really swarm the blue paint. They are really quick to the pucks and that's one of their big assets.
This has been a strange season. Can you categorize it and how it ended?
Lucia: I knew this was going to be a really good match up, with how skilled and quick BC is. They are playing in their back yard and there's a reason why they've played for the national title the past two years. But our guys persevered all season long and I'm very happy for our seniors and for the most part they played very well at the end. We had two seniors score the goals in the game tonight, so they should feel good and proud with how we competed and how we played to get here. It hasn't been easy for this group all season long and that's the way it had to be to get to this point.
Did the penalties in the first period take the energy out of your team as the game went on?
Lucia: Well I'm not sure about energy. I felt pretty good that we only got one after all of the penalties in the first period. With the penalties you're not getting the guys involved in the game and that's the hard part. I've always felt as a coach that I'd rather not have a penalty called in the first five minutes so you can get everyone out there and involved in the game as opposed to only playing 10 guys the first six, seven minutes of the game. We try to get those other guys involved. I thought our fourth line played really well when they scored the one five on five goal. But that was all part of it and you have to adapt to how the game is going and I thought we did that after the first period.
Was there anything about the goaltending or defense that was off tonight?
Lucia: Well I think we need to give credit to the other team too. They're good and made some plays. Their second goal was when we came in three on two and turn it over, then it turns into a two on one and that was a big turning point in the game. We were playing real well at that time then we fall behind again. And as we know, our team is not a team that is going to come from behind very often especially when you get down by one.