March 26, 2010

North Dakota Press Conference Quotes

2010 NCAA MEN’S ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
NORTHEAST REGIONAL · DCU CENTER · WORCESTER, MASS.
NORTH DAKOTA PRE-TOURNAMENT PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
MARCH 26, 2010

Head Coach Dave Hakstol, Sophomore Goaltender Brad Eidsness,
Junior Defenseman Derrick LaPoint, Senior Forward Darcy Zajac

Opening statement:
Hakstol:
“It’s very nice to be back in regional competition and we’re excited about the challenge in front of us coming tomorrow.  It’s a great time of year.  This is the time of the year that we all fight so hard for during the regular season to try to put ourselves in a position to be involved in the national tournament.  And certainly to build as a team to not only put ourselves into the national tournament, but hopefully come in with the mentality and a feeling that you have a chance to be successful.  We are coming in playing reasonably well right now.  We have a very good understanding of what we need to do in order to have a chance to be successful.  I think we’ve stuck to those simple basics down the stretch run of the season.  We’re going to need to do that, and do that extremely well tomorrow against a very good Yale hockey team.  We’re looking forward to game day tomorrow and a great challenge in front of us, and we’ll be looking forward to getting going with game day preparation tomorrow morning.”

On the strength of the Northeast Region:
Eidsness:
“We looked at the bracket and we looked at Yale. That’s who we are playing tomorrow night, that’s our sole focus right now. Obviously Yale is a good hockey club. They’ve got the best scoring offense in the country. So, I think watching game tape they look a lot like some of the teams we’ve played recently. A lot of skilled quick forwards, and get a lot on net and are very good around the net. So our first focus is Yale and we are going to worry about them tomorrow night.”

On injured captain Chay Genoway:
LaPoint:
“He’s our leader. He’s been here since day one, all through the summer time, being a leader in the weight room. And especially in the defensive end, he’s been a leader to the young guys. He’s just a great guy and a great player, and we take everything we can from him. He takes pride in what he does, especially now that he’s not playing. He’s helping out the coaching staff with little things in the games. So, he brings a lot to our team. He’s definitely missed on the ice, but he’s still a huge part of our team.”

On the importance of special teams:
Zajac:
“Playoff hockey, it is all special teams. Our penalty kill has been pretty good lately, and it’s a huge part. And we have to come out on our toes on the penalty kill. We like to play aggressive. And I think if we play that aggressive style on our penalty kill and everybody doing their role and doing their part we should be able to be successful against their power play, and it should help us out this weekend.”

On playoff beards:
LaPoint:
“There are a few guys that are struggling, but most of them have it…. I got a mustache… That’s good enough.”

On last weekend’s WCHA Tournament:
Hakstol:
“I don’t think last weekend was a lot different than our last couple of months.  In some respects, it hasn’t been a lot different from our entire season.  In order to win three games in a row, as we did last weekend, you have to have a little good fortune.  You have to be a hard working group, and that’s what this group has been throughout this season, through ups and through downs.  This is a hard working group of guys and (they have) always found a way to have fun.  It was a one game at a time mentality and that is what our mentality has been down the stretch.  Hopefully, that prepares us well for this tournament.  One game at a time.  There is nothing else.  We play Yale and one team is going to wake up on Sunday morning and move on and one team is going to go home.  Last weekend was a good preparation coming into this tournament.”

On captain Chay Genoway:
Hakstol: “Chay has shown some of the greatest maturity I’ve seen in an athlete at this level.  As you learn and grow with our program, you learn the program comes first.  That’s how I’d sum it up with Chay.  Despite the enormity of the difficult times he’s been through the past few months, he’s a young man that as a captain, has always put his team first.  His teammates understand that and they respect that about it.  In the way Chay has remained our dominant leader while empowering others in the locker room.  He’s strengthened our team more than he probably could have had he been in uniform.  It’s a hard thing to say, but he’s done a great job in empowering others around him.”

On last year’s regionals:
Hakstol:
“It’s an experience we went through.  Obviously, this is a different group of guys, but for everybody, as you grow up and mature, you learn from every experience you go through.  For the guys that were there, it’s an experience that they have grown from.  This is a different year and a different team.  I don’t believe it will have any immediate impact on tomorrow’s game other than the fact that a large number of guys in that locker room have grown and matured from that difficult experience last year.”

On the importance of special teams:
Hakstol: 
“It’s one portion of the game.  Specialty teams are key on both sides in the regular season, but (there is) probably a little more light on them in the tournament. They’re a very important part of the game.  You can over think and over coach it.  At this point in the year, everyone knows what we’re trying to do and there won’t be a whole extra lot of thought process into it.  We’ve done our preparation work and tried to learn and understand the things that Yale does well – (there are) a lot of them.  Hopefully, by the time we get to game time tomorrow we’ll have that firmly in our minds and turn the focus to where it needs to be, and that is playing our game.  We need to go out and do what we do best, and do it extremely well.”