March 30, 2008

Miami (Ohio) Postgame Quotes

March 30, 2008

2008 NCAA MEN'S ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
NORTHEAST REGIONAL • DCU CENTER • WORCESTER, MASS.
MIAMI (OHIO) POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
MARCH 30, 2008

Head Coach Rico Blasi, Junior Goalie Jeff Zatkoff, Senior Forward Ryan Jones

Were you able to see Joe Whitney with all the traffic in front of the net?
Zatkoff:
I knew it was a three-on-two coming down and unfortunately I was not able to control the rebound. I wasn't able to pick [Whitney] up until the last second and I wasn't able to get there.

Jeff, could you take us through those three goals that Boston College scored right at the end of the second period, and what was going through your head?
Zatkoff:
Once they got the first goal it started to roll for them a little. I thought we did a good job of trying to close them down for the most part. During all that I just tried to stay focused.

Did you want to play that high pace style of game with Boston College?
Jones:
We wanted to stay away from the run and gun style because they're a little better at that than we are. Our main goal was puck possession down low and I think we were better with that for two periods.

Ryan, can you talk about your game tying goal?
Jones:
We got the puck low and the puck came out from the back of the net. I'm not sure from whom, but I was able to get a shot off and it went five-hole.

Ryan, can you talk a little about it being your last game as a RedHawk?
Jones:
It is a little scary being here with my jersey on for the last time. I came back to play with a bunch of guys that I love and I can't put into words how I feel right now. These guys are champions and we took the program a long way. I'll be the first alumni to call them when they go to the Frozen Four, and hopefully I'll be watching them on TV some day.

Ryan, you talked about elevating the program? Can you talk about how Boston College is a tournament tested team, and do you think that their experience here gave them that edge that they needed? Is that something Miami needs to acquire to get to the Frozen Four?
Jones:
I give BC credit for winning the game but wouldn't go as far as to say that BC's hockey team is that much better than Miami's. I heard a comment that Miami strives to be like Boston College, but Miami just strives to be Miami and love and honor to Miami. This team is going to be there someday, and we'll get the bounce next time that gets us there.

Could you comment on John Muse's composure for a freshman in that overtime period?
Blasi:
Well, I thought he made some huge saves. I'm not sure what the shots were and the chances were but it sure seemed like we were getting a lot of them. Obviously he made some great saves.

About that stretch late in the second period when Boston College got those three goals. Was there anything that you said to your team to keep them level-headed going into the third period?
Blasi:
Well we've been here before and this team is battle-tested. We've been in these situations before where we've been down by one, and up by one, and tied, and we've played overtime games. There's not much you can say at this time of year. You can see what type of captain we've got and we let him take over the locker room at that point. We weren't going to go down without a fight.

You just metioned how battle-tested you felt your team was. Did you feel that Boston College had a bit of an edge in terms of their NCAA tournament experience and their success in getting to the Frozen Four and that was something to overcome, or did you feel that that was an even issue?
Blasi:
I'm not one for stats. When you go to the national tournament three years in a row, you win a CCHA Championship, and you play in the finals in the CCHA playoff championship twice... We had the experience, it's not an excuse.

Can you give your sense of the season as a whole at this point?
Blasi:
Well, any time you win 33 games you're doing something right. I'm as proud of this team as if we won the national championship. These guys gave it everything they had every day. The way they conducted themselves, the way they conducted themselves in the community, for Miami University, the way they represented the league, these guys are champions in my book. The seniors, especially, elevated the program Three consecutive NCAA appearances. Like I said, a CCHA championship. I don't know that you can ask anything more of a senior class. I know I speak for Miami University, everybody associated with the athletic program, and our staff, we're as proud of these guys as anybody.