April 3, 2013
UMass Lowell held a Frozen Four press conference on Wednesday, April 3
UMASS LOWELL HEAD COACH NORM BAZIN QUOTES
On From a Coaching Standpoint what is the feeling heading into the Frozen Four?
"It's anxiousness, I wish we were playing this week, but it's next week and we are focused to get back to work."
What does it take to be the Championship Team?
"Well, I hope I know, but we will find out after the Frozen Four is over. We feel that if we play our game and execute our game plan, the we give ourselves an excellent chance at success."
On the new culture and bringing back Lowell hockey:
"I think any new coach brings in their own philosophy and for us it was competitiveness in practice and accountability throughout. I have asked a lot of my staff and a lot of our players. I am happy they came up with that answer, they certainly feel that everybody is held to the same standard, so that is great to hear."
If this team is winning games, what is it doing right?
"If we are having success on the ice, we are definitely pursuing the puck aggressively, tracking pucks aggressively and we are good on team defense. That starts from the goalie on out, Connor (Hellebuyck) has had a good stretch here and team defense has been strong and out 'D" corps have been very active, they have contributed to the offense, but they have been good defensively first."
On what he is telling the players about playing in the Tournament:
"Well first and foremost, it's to play loose. When you play loose, you make plays. You'll need to make plays to win the hockey game. So we are excited to stay loose, play hard and let the results take care of themselves."
SENIOR FORWARD AND CAPTAIN RILEY WETMORE QUOTES
Talk about the excitement of heading to the Frozen Four:
"Just being part of the team is something special, when you are around campus the last week here, it's great to see the excitement leading up to next week."
Talk about the team's recent defensive play:
"I feel like it's team play, it's not anyone doing anything individually, it's everyone buying in and doing it as a team. We have guys sacrificing their body and obviously (Connor) Hellebuyck back there has been like a rock all year, so when we do give up shots, they don't seem to get through lately."
On the play on Connor Hellebuyck in net:
"He has been great, you don't think a freshman goalie can come in and put up the numbers he has all year. Last year we had Doug Carr in net and he is just a good of goaltender than Connor and they really push each other in practice. I think that is why Hellebuyck is at the level that he is at now."
What does to the team need to do to win the game on Thursday vs. Yale?
"I think we need to play a team game, stick to what has been working all year and getting pucks out of the defensive zone and sacrificing our body, just believing in the system and in the process. "
JUNIOR DEFENSEMAN AND ASSISTANT CAPTAIN CHAD RUHWEDEL QUOTES
On What is means to the team to be in the Frozen Four:
"It means a lot, for this university and for our team. It's going to be an exciting experience and we are looking forward to it."
On the playoff run and the defensive side of the puck:
"This playoff push has been pretty incredible so far. A lot of big games, the Hockey East Tournament was incredible and the fan base was unbelievable. Playing big teams like Boston University was exciting, they are always one of the favorites to win it. Being able to close out games like that, really speaks a lot about our team and our team defense and how much pride we take in it. It really helped us a lot going into the Northeast Regional playing the home team New Hampshire and a big team like Wisconsin, who just came off a WCHA Championship. Being able to close out those close games is really key for us and hopefully it helps us this next weekend. "
What would it mean to the program to win a National Championship?
"It would just be incredible, I don't think there are a lot of words to describe that, for the entire city, our school, team and fans. It's been incredible, since Christmas we have had a pretty good record and looking to improve it next weekend. A National Championship would be awesome for us, this team has worked so hard, day in and day out, all the summers and all the hard work. Having it pay off in the end, it would be really something to hang your hat on."
On Riley Wetmore as team captain:
"He has been great for us and is a good leader, we all look up to him. We couldn't be happier with such a good captain."
FRESHMAN GOALTENDER CONNOR HELLEBUYCK QUOTES
On enjoying the playoff run:
"It's a blast to be around the rink right now, but at the same time we are focused and ready for the next weekend."
On the approach on it just being another hockey game:
"If we do that, we will be successful, it's worked for us so far, we really just need to put our minds to it and we can't overlook Yale, they are a great team. I think if we keep working hard, we will have a good chance."
What separates the winners from the losers?
"I think it's hard work. They outwork your opponent. It's not always just talent, hard work beats talent, I think that is what is going to take. Even in practice, we work really hard and we are holding each other accountable, that is a huge thing. We have great leadership in the locker room and I think that is really what this program is all about. "
On the number of close games during the playoffs:
"Sometimes you do thrive on the fact that it's a close game and it's fun to play, the crowd gets into it. I know it's real nerve wracking for the fans, but it's great to be in them. We are so used to it by now, it's just like another game."
On the importance of trusting and believing in your teammates:
"Even in practice, we are trusting our teammates and I think since we trust them so much in practice, in games it just comes natural. It's holding each other accountable, because you do your job and you know your guy or your linemate will do his job and I think that is why we have been so successful so far. That with hardwork, is unbeatable."