November 16, 2005

Q & A With Coach Paul Pearl

Nov. 16, 2005

What does the team have to do well this weekend to be successful against AIC?

We have to concentrate on the first game at the Hart Center on Friday night. We are going to have to be really good in transition defense. AIC is a very up and down the ice team similar to the way Mercyhurst plays. They have played a killer schedule so far so these guys will be a very good opponent this weekend.

Going into the season the goal scoring was a little bit of a wild card. But now Holy Cross is third in Atlantic Hockey in goals (28) and second in goals per game (4.00). Are you happy so far with your team's goal scoring?

I think it is a little misleading because we scored 10 goals in one game so that kind of pumped up our stats. We need to get more scoring from our second and third lines. The Pierre Napert-Frenette, Tyler McGregor and Blair Bartlett line has held up their end of the bargain, but the offensive production of some of the other guys hasn't been what we expected. We have been fortunate that the first line has been scoring as much as they have but if we are going to be successful in the long run we need to get more from players from those other lines.

The team leads Atlantic Hockey in power play percentage (.310) and penalty-killing percentage (.911). How much do you think that has contributed to your 5-2-0 overall record and 4-2-0 start in the league?

I think that has been a big factor. That is where you have to win in the differential for the game. You have to come out on top in those categories in most games if you want to win. I think it is very indicative to why our record is what it is. Both of those percentages are very good right now and we want to work hard to keep them there.

The team has the least amount of penalties (50) and penalty minutes (103) in Atlantic Hockey. Is that something you stress in practice or is it more of an individual showing discipline?

I think eight of the last 10 years we have been on the top in that category. It is simple. Stay out of the penalty box. If they have more players on the ice than us then that is not good.

After Friday, the next eight games are either on the road or at a neutral site. Is there a different mentality the team needs to bring into road games?

Absolutely. When you play on the road the first five minutes are the key. The home team 90 percent of the time comes out and runs at you a little bit, and what happens is that you can take a little bit of steam out of them if you play those first five minutes real simple and real strong.