Minnesota Quotes: Friday Press Conference

March 23, 2012

Minnesota Quotes
Pre-Regional Press Conference
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, Minn.

Head Coach Don Lucia
Opening Statement:
“We are excited to be here. I think we have had a good week of preparation. It has been fun to read up on the nostalgia between BU and Minnesota this week”

On what BU brings:
“I have been impressed with them when I watch them. They are physical. They are going to run over people. Their top two lines can really get up and down the rink. [Chris] Connolly looks just like his brother. Their D-corps are solid. They are a team that you have to pay attention to all five guys on the ice.”

On the field:
“It is a great field. We are probably the one regional that if any of the four teams came out of it, I do not think anyone would be surprised. We have two great matchups. Western Michigan is playing well. North Dakota is playing very well. BU won a national championship just a few years ago.”

On if he is expecting a low-scoring game:
“If you look at us, people say that we are not a real high-scoring team the back half of the season. We have won a lot of games 2-1 or 3-2. There have not been a lot of games where we have had a three- or four-goal lead in them. We have to try to win a 3-2 type of game. If you get to three, that has to be enough. Goaltending is critical in this type of game.”

On the importance of goaltending:
“These are one game shots. You want your guy to get a good start. Obviously, (Kent Patterson) is a good goalie. BU has a guy who has won a national title and he is a good goalie was well. Both are seniors. It should be a good matchup. We have to play well in front of Kent. We have to take care of the puck. You have to do the little things if you are going to be successful.”

On the team’s response to last week’s loss to UND:
“It has been good. Five teams ended last weekend with a win. Everyone else got beat. We lost one game on Friday night. We did a good job of putting it behind us with our practice and our video. I do not think our guys spend a lot of time thinking about last weekend.”

On his team’s lack of NCAA tournament experience:
“It is always a concern. We are probably playing 15 freshman and sophomores tomorrow. They have been in environments that will be like what they will see this weekend. They will see a very good team, but it will be no different than what they normally see. The same goes for BU. There is a reason it is an eight and a nine seed. We are two evenly matched teams. Tomorrow it is about execution. You work all year to get to this point. You want to play your best and hopefully we will.”



Minnesota Players

Taylor Matson
On how it feels to finally make it to the NCAA tournament:
“It’s awesome, especially for our senior class. We’ve worked so hard the past four years, and we’ve had this as a goal of ours since we came to Minnesota. It feels great to be here, we’re just ready to work hard and play Gopher hockey this weekend.”

On what’s special about Boston University’s play:
“They’re just a really high-powered offensive team with a great power play and good goaltending. They compare to a lot of the WCHA teams with their speed and scoring on offense. For us it’ll be an important game with the offensive skill out there on the ice. Once again, we’re just worried about our game, playing consistent hockey, and coming out and playing Gopher hockey.”

On how the team felt after the last loss to UND in the WCHA tournament:
“We were kind of down on ourselves after that loss. This week, we had a team meeting, just the players, and we said, ‘Guys, we have something special going on. Forget that loss and just work hard this week and get ready for this weekend.’”

Nate Schmidt
On what the playoffs have taught him so far:
“So far, I’ve learned any team can beat any team, any level, on any given night. Last weekend, North Dakota played a good game against us, and you just have to be prepared for anything at all times. Boston University lost a couple of guys this year, but they’ve come back through it stronger since some of those dismissals. They have a really good team coming into this tournament, and it’s going to be an exciting game.”

On how prepared the team feels going into this weekend:
“I think we’re ready to go. We watched some film this week. Coach [Lucia] really got us prepared for this game. It’s been a couple of years of waiting for this opportunity, to get back to this stage that we’re at right now, to get back to the NCAA tournament. We’re ready to go. I think Taylor [Matson]’s got the guys ready to go, our captains, our seniors. It’s a big opportunity for our team to go out and do what we want to do, do some of the things we wanted to get done at the beginning of the year. Now we’re just going to have the chance or opportunity to fulfill some of those goals.”

On what the Gophers have to do to win:
“For us to win, we always have to put together three complete periods. We showed last weekend that we can play well, but we just need to make sure that we compete for a full sixty minutes. We can’t let up, have any lapses like in other games—that can lead to our downfall. We have to make sure that we come out and play hard, stay out of the penalty box. BU has been known to take a couple penalties. We just have to work hard, hopefully get our power play out there, and win the special teams battle.”


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