March 24, 2013
Head Coach Brad Frost
"Well, it's very surreal. I'll probably have to pinch myself when I actually get back home and put my head on the pillow but we've been focusing on the process from day one. I still remember on day one talking to our players about the importance of the process and not the outcome and I made a comment such as `we're going to lose a hockey game so it's not always about the wins and losses so let's focus on the process and those things.' Here we are, 41 games later without a loss and it's just mind boggling, I can't even believe it. I also can't believe the effort and family feel that our team has. This is an incredibly special team and one that will go down in the history books as one of the best ever, if not the best ever. To go 41-0 is amazing but to go through the WCHA as we did without a loss is amazing and then all of the non-conference and ending the tournament here without a loss is something I can't even put into words. I'm so proud to keep the national championship here, to have the three Kazmaier finalists and the Patty winner here as well. I just don't know if you can draw up more of a dream type situation than to go 41-0 and have the three top players in the country. They all make me look like a pretty darn good coach I guess. I'm just really proud for our team and our school and I'm really happy for the state of Minnesota keeping the national championship."
On what this team has done for women's college hockey...
"It certainly has settled with me. When we were standing out there and the teams were getting their awards and we were shaking hands, I just kept saying to our staff `look around, just look around' and when you're in that fish bowl, and I always say that Ridder Arena is a great place to play and a great place to watch a game, but you look around and there's not an empty seat in the place and everybody is doing the Minnesota cheer, aside from a few other fans. I think what this team has done for women's hockey here at the U and girl's hockey in Minnesota has been huge. You look at our attendance, right before Christmas we had Wisconsin and those were big games, obviously, but we sold out Ridder Arena and from then on our attendance was just tremendous. Prior to Wisconsin, I think we were still averaging less than a thousand fans and I couldn't understand that but hopefully all these people who have enjoyed their experience over the last few weeks or couple of months will be people who are Gopher women's hockey fans for life."
On his message to the team before the game...
"I always have our players huddle up right before we go out and I allow our coaches to speak but I said `close your eyes and imagine throwing your gloves and jumping on the pile' and then I gave them about three seconds and then I said `now stop thinking about that. Here's the things we need to do, here are our goals: three or less penalties, let's pressure them on the fore-check, simple movement on the PP, pressure on the PK.' We have our eight things and those are some of them. That's the process of winning a hockey game for us, that's the blueprint. So, that's what we talked about. The other thing, I said `I'm getting older, I'm almost 40. I've been in nine of these Frozen Fours and you only get, as a player, so many opportunities to do something special and to do something great. These players had an opportunity to do something tonight and I was just so happy with the way we came out, played free, go the lead and continued to extend it."
On the difference between the last two championships...
"The difference between the two championships is freaky for me to be honest. The one last year was so emotional. It was so incredible because it was the first time I had done it as a head coach. This one, I don't want to say it is relief but it's a little bit of relief and just so surreal. We didn't lose a game all year, I can't even explain that. It just doesn't make sense with our league and the opponents that we faced. I don't know when it will sink in. The good news is I'm still going to go home and tuck my three boys in, whether we won or lost the game but it sure feels good to win. I'm not a bad loser but I'm a real good winner."
Junior forward Amanda Kessel
On whether or not she'll be able to top the feeling of winning the Patty Kaz Award, having the perfect season, and winning the national title...
Honestly, I don't know if I'll be able to top this feeling. It's amazing. A lot of people are crying, but I can't stop smiling. I'll be sad when I can't play with these amazing players anymore, but right now, I can't stop smiling.
On whether it has sunk in...
I mean, a little bit. Like I said, it's unbelievable. I said it before--I thought it was impossible. But as you can see, it wasn't impossible. We made the impossible, possible and this win is for everyone on our team--not just one or two people.
Senior defenseman Megan Bozek
On whether or not the weight of the game influenced her...
I think we felt like it was any other game. We finally got relaxed when we got playing because there was so much pressure to get to this Frozen Four and the National Championship game. It was great to have a sold-out Ridder [Arena] and that helped keep our nerves in check. We were able to play 60 minutes of Gopher hockey.
On whether or not her shots were attempted to go towards the net or towards their best players...
I'll answer that politely. It just so happened that she blocked the shot, but a few shifts later she got me back in the ankle. We exchanged a few nice words later. [Mary-Phillip] Poulin is a great player. She's a good two-way player that can skate and shoot the puck, back check and someone we have to watch out for. We had to keep her from getting any time or space today.
Senior goaltender Noora Raty
On how it feels to be MVP of the frozen four in two straight years...
Well, it feels way better to be `natty' champ than be MVP. I feel like everyone on this team deserves this award and that none of us are concerned about the number on our back.
On whether or not they feel like they are the best team in women's hockey history...
It doesn't matter how you say it, no other team has done this. So our record speaks to the fact that it is the best season in women's hockey history.
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Check out media and fan reactions to the three-game WCHA First Round against Bemidji State last weekend.
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