This afternoon, each team had a few representatives and their coach go in front of the media to answer a variety of topics. Here are some of the quotes from Michigan and North Dakota (Notre Dame and Minnesota-Duluth can be found here).
Wolverines Coach Red Berenson on being in Minnesota and the crowd support:
“It is interesting that this senior class played their first ever college game in this building [as part of the Icebreaker Tournament]. We are proud to be here and we want to put our best foot forward in this tournament. Our program has been in this tournament since I have been here 11 times, only getting to the championship twice.
I think [the Minnesota fans] will root for Michigan. I know the animosity between Minnesota and North Dakota. If it was a game at Michigan State, they would be cheering for North Dakota. We have to play our best game of the season, no matter who is here.”
Forward Louie Caporusso in regards to having played against a hostile crowd in this building and how that has prepared him to play against North Dakota:
“North Dakota is going to have a lot of fans here, but we’re not concerned about the rink or who is coming, we are just concerned with how we are going to play. We have played in these types of atmospheres before; where the other team is bring a lot of noise. I don’t think it has affected us before. We like playing on the road, so if it’s a hostile atmosphere, so be it.”
Berenson on why Michigan can win against North Dakota:
“Stranger things have happened. You need good goalkeeping, good penalty killing, good back checking, good play coming out of your zone and you need to be opportunistic. We know they are a better team, but we are going to come and play hard."
Senior forward Matt Rust on the excitement of his parents on having two sons (Matt’s younger brother Bryan plays for Notre Dame) in the Frozen Four:
“Its kind of an interesting story just to see where Notre Dame has come and their path getting here is similar to my freshman class. I think it’s more special for my family, for my parents, to really just enjoy the experience and my friends, for all of them to get down here and have two sons in this. I couldn’t think of, if I was a parent, how happy I would be to have both of my boys in the game. I’m happy for him but at the end of the day, I’m going to take my time and be a little selfish. I think this is my time and hopefully my brother can respect that and we can go on our separate ways.”
Senior Carl Hagelin comparing the differences in Michigan’s team as a freshman compared to now.
“Maybe this year we are more of a team then we were our freshman year. Back then we had more of a core group of players [i.e. Kevin Porter] scoring all the goals and this year we are better defensively and if we want to do better that’s what it’s going to come down to.”
Coach Dave Hakstol’s thoughts on playing Michigan:
“I have a great deal of respect for their program, the history and tradition of their program, and the success that they’ve had. More specifically, I have a significant amount of respect for their team this year and the accomplishments they’ve had over the long haul of this year winning the CCHA and how well they are playing right now. They’re a complete hockey team in every sense of the word and a complete hockey team that is playing very well. We’re looking forward to the challenge tomorrow night and a great hockey game. We’re going to have to be at our best at the drop of the puck tomorrow night.
I think there are a lot of stars on their hockey team. I think they are very deep and have a ton of good players throughout their lineup. They have a high skill level and they have a very competitive skill level.
We’ve done our regular pre-scout and pre-game meetings in the lead-up during the week, nothing more and nothing less. We’ve prepared ourselves to come out and play as well as we can play. We’re trying to prepare ourselves to play our best game of the season tomorrow night, that’s the way we’ve tried to prepare.”
Forward Jason Gregoire on returning to Xcel Energy Center after a strong showing at WCHA Final Five
“The Xcel Energy Center is a beautiful arena. If there is a rink out there that can rival Ralph Engelstad Arena it would be this one. I am looking forward to seeing our fans come out for the game tomorrow. At the WCHA Final Five our fans were unbelievable. It is going to be a really fun night for us.”
Chay Genoway on returning to UND for a fifth season (Genoway was given a medical redshirt after suffering a season-ending concussion):
“It has been a great experience so far. Obviously last year was a tough one for me personally. Just to have the chance to do it over again has been pretty special. For this year’s senior class to take me and to have the opportunity to join their class has been a pretty cool thing. They are a group of six guys that are pretty tight knit. It has been a fun ride so far and hopefully we have a lot of memories to come.”
Brad Malone in regard to North Dakota’s consistent play over their 15 games unbeaten streak:
“We focus at the task at hand. What is behind us is behind us. I don’t think that is what is pushing us. We are focused on tomorrow and getting a win and that is all that really matters.”