North Dakota – 5, Quinnipiac – 1 MODERATOR: We’re joined by
Quinnipiac head Coach Rand Pecknold, Soren
Jonzzon Jonzzon, Travis St. Denis and Mike Michael
COACH PECKNOLD: I want to to congratulate North Dakota. I
thought they were outstanding tonight. Berry and his staff
did a great job getting them ready ready. 12, 13 draft
picks. Four All-Americans. -Americans. I mean,
just the talent package that they have, the most talented
team in the country and they compete. It’s a really good
formula for success. It’s pretty impressive. And they
gave us a lot and we just couldn’t handle it tonight. We
didn’t play our best, but we got some bad breaks with some non
calls there early in the game. Obviously I can’t comment on the
officiating, but we needed some breaks breaks, and we
just didn’t get them. But in the end I’m just really proud of
our guys and how hard they compete all year long long.
Four losses losses in 43 games is phenomenal
can’t comment on the officiating, but
we needed some breaks, and we just didn’t get them. But in
the end I’m just really proud of our guys and how hard they
compete all year long. Four losses in 43 games is
phenomenal. I think it’s been 19, 20 years since
years since a team has done that . It’s a real credit to our
locker room. Certainly we have talent in our room but we’ve
only got the two draft picks but we’ve got some really good
players, and to do what we did this year was it’s
been 19, 20 years since a team has done that. It’s a real
credit to our locker room. Certainly we have talent in our
room but we’ve only got the two draft picks but we’ve got some
really good players, and to do what we did this year was
special. So proud of them. Not just the three guys next to me
but the battle level we had, the compete, the culture that we
have, we overachieved so much, we achieve. And I’d also like
to thank the city of Tampa. I think they did a phenomenal job
here with hosting the Frozen Four again. Hopefully they’ll
get the opportunity to get it back here compete,
the culture that we have, we overachieved so much, we
achieve. And I’d also like to thank the city of Tampa. I
think they did a phenomenal job here with hosting the Frozen
Four again. Hopefully they’ll get the opportunity to get it
back here again. MODERATOR: Questions for the
student-athletes. Q. Q. Michael, can you just take me
through that second Dakota goal , the short-handed one, what
happened? MATT GARTEIG: I’d rather prefer
not to talk about it, thank you. you.
Q. Q. The two seniors, Michael and
Travis, can you — MATT GARTEIG: He’s a senior,
too, too. Q.
Q. Travis, just in the four years, the growth you’ve seen
and the kind of culture that you’ve developed in Hampton with
the club? TRAVIS ST. DENIS: Past four
years have been the best four years of my life, credit
definitely the coaching staff and all the past and present
players. They created a culture and it’s our job to maintain it
, and, yeah, the culture in our dressing room is just un
believable. SOREN JONZZON: I think when we
came in, the seniors were fantastic and they really starte
d the culture and showed us, kind of showed us the ropes and
just kind of come our role to pass that culture on. You see
the way that we play and the way that guys battle and compete
for each other, and I think that it’s a special thing and we’re
so proud of it .
Q. Michael, you stopped that break-away in the second period.
Did it feel like the momentum was turning at that point, and
there was an opportunity there to get back into it?
MICHAEL GARTEIG: I thought we played a strong second period.
And I mean I guess maybe after that save yeah, maybe a little
bit of momentum shift but in reality I thought we had a
really strong second and we hit a couple of posts and couple of
bounces that maybe just didn’t go our way. And unfortunately
we couldn’t pop one in and make it a 2-2 game going into the
third and just kind of the way hockey goes sometimes .
MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach .
Q. You said yesterday the loss
yesterday the the last change is going to
we couldn’t pop one in and make it a 2-2 game going into the
third and just kind of the way hockey goes sometimes.
MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.
Q. You said yesterday the last change is going to be important
matching up to the CBS line what made it so difficult just
tonight throughout the entire game (?
COACH PECKNOLD: I mean, they’re really good. You know, I don’t
like to put it any other way. That line’s special. We haven’t
seen a line as good as that all season. And we’ve played
against some good ones. Obviously the VC line at Harvard
is outstanding. We just saw three really good lines at
Boston College. We’ve seen some good play. We played St. Cloud
twice, swept St. Cloud. I haven’t seen a line like that.
They’re high- high-end NHL talent. They’re honest. They
compete. They win battles. It’s a pretty special
combination of ability there. Q.
Q. Q. With your seniors that just
left the podium what can you say about them they were there from
when you guys really had your start in start in 2013
where people started to notice you guys. Can you talk about
what they’ve done in these past four years to put you in the
in the pinnacle pinnacle of where you guys are
in college hockey? COACH PECKNOLD: I’m proud of
them. A phenomenal group of seniors and what we’ve
accomplished this season and all four years is truly remarkable
for a small school like ourselves. We had Kenny
Kenny swee sweeten told me yesterday we were trending No. 1
on Facebook. And I was like what do you mean Connecticut?
No in the world. Donald Trump is 2. We’re 1. So that puts in
perspective what this program, what those kids have done not
just for hockey but for Quinnipiac University and for me
personally. It really is a special group. And I mean they
battle. battle. We’re battle. We’re
resilient and some of the stuff we went through was awesome.
Just awesome. It was a disappointing end today but it’s
not going to take away from the year we had had.
Q. Can you compare this to the championship game four years
ago? COACH PECKNOLD: You know, it’s
different. Different circumstances. I think that
year we had beaten Yale three times and beaten them three
times easily. So that was — and we still haven’t lost to
Yale since. It’s like 14, 15 games in a row we’ve lost once.
So that to me I really felt we were the better team that year.
I still do. I think we were. One and done, anybody can win.
I think what North Dakota showed tonight is they were the better
team. Doesn’t mean we couldn’t beat them. But that’s the best
team in college hockey. They are just loaded with talent and
they’re honest and they compete and the back check, the goalie
was great, Johnson was excellent . Again, tonight, can we beat
them, absolutely, we hit a couple of bars, had a couple of
great chances. Timmy Clifton, two-on-one on the power play
when Sam poked it the back check, the goalie was
great, Johnson was excellent. Again, tonight, can we beat
them, absolutely, we hit a couple of bars, had a couple of
great chances. Timmy Clifton, two-on-one on the power play
when Sam poked it out to him (. Sam has the 2-1-1 hits the bar.
We certainly had our chances. In the end we just didn’t
defend well enough tonight. We didn’t play good enough defense.
We struggled a little bit at times, and you’ve got to credit
North Dakota for how well they played.
Q. Q. You’d seen that line for two
periods then they we
just didn’t defend well enough tonight. We didn’t play good
enough defense. We struggled a little bit at times, and you’ve
got to credit North Dakota for how well they played.
Q. You’d seen that line for two periods then they came out in
the first two minutes like an even better than line you had
seen, did you feel and see it? Did they step it up even higher
than they had the first two? COACH PECKNOLD: I thought they
had spurts the first and third when they got it going. And
again for us when we’ve played against these top lines, we
gotta go play offense. And we just didn’t get enough of a
sustained forecheck going. And that’s part of us not making
good decisions at times, not good puck management. I think
we turned the puck over probably too much much. I don’t
think our battle mode was off the charts, which it needed to
be to beat a team with that much talent. I thought it was good
and it was much better in the second, but we had to do it for
60 minutes. And we had a couple of kids that struggled libbed
struggled struggled a little bit
tonight Q. tonight.
Q. Q. Sam were banged up through
the tournament but can you talk about the entire tournament that
you played through an injury with you guys (?
COACH PECKNOLD: It was a tough night for us from an injury
perspective. Sam wanted to play but he was struggling. He’s
worse these two games than against Lowell and RIT. talk
about the entire tournament that you played through an i
njury with you guys (? COACH PECKNOLD: It was a tough
night for us from an injury perspective. Sam wanted to play
but he was struggling. He’s worse these two games than
against Lowell and RIT. ( Derek Smith really, like he’s banged
up. He played hurt. K.J. played hurt. We had three
three three kids take elbows to the head. Got hurt
during the game. There was a one point point we were
down nine guys four players with D. That’s hockey you gotta
battle through. ( We were kind of a mass and going back to Sam
and Derek they gritted it out two of our leaders. There was
no threat of them getting injured anymore it was just a
pain tolerance thing. Sam was 50 percent and still made some
plays tonight. Q. You talked a lot all season
about you stick to your identity ; you got rewarded. Do you feel
that North Dakota kind of veered you away from that
identity and how did it really impact the ultimate end of the
game? COACH PECKNOLD: Yeah, I think we
played to our identity in the second period. We didn’t do it
in the first and third. And I think it’s a combination of us
not playing well and a combination of North Dakota
being really good. Like they really came after us. And again
an impressive combination of talent and compete and honesty
in their game .
MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach. FastScripts by ASAP Sports
SOREN JONZZON: Cam John Johnson.
COACH PECKNOLD: CAM
JOHNSON: Cam Johnson. COACH BERRY: Is eight-time NCAA champion North
Dakota, head coach coach Brad Berry, Drake Caggiula, Gage
Ausmus and Cam Johnson. Coach, an opening statement.
COACH BERRY: First of all, I want to congratulate Rand
Pecknold and his team from Quinnipiac. Tremendous year.
Set a lot of goals in front of them and they attained
they attained an un believable year as far as
getting to the Frozen Four here again. And we want to
congratulate him and his staff and his team. The city of Tampa
Bay and Bay and the Amalie arena for having us here
in Tampa. Great hosts, professionally done and treated
us great here. And last but not least the three guys to my
right and the rest of the guys in the locker room of digging in
hard every single day since we we started, believing it,
earning it and finally now raising it.
MODERATOR: Questions for student-athletes.
Q. Q. Drake, I wanted to get your
comments on Brock’s play tonight . He had four assists and
particularly that shorthanded goal seemed to be a turning
point in the game. DRAKE CAGGIULA: He’s been a
special player for us all season long. And big players come
through in big games. And he definitely stepped up today.
He’s a hell of a player, hell of a kid. And it was an honor to
play on his line all season long . He makes things happen out
there and he definitely took charge today.
Q. Cam, why did you want Brandon on the ice, specifically
specifically? CAM JOHNSON: Well, obviously
it’s kind of of an emotional weekend for me. And I wanted to
get a picture with him and the championship trophy because
without him and without my family I wouldn’t be here where
I am today. So that was a very special moment for me today Q. today.
Q. Q. Drake, did you guys talk
about at the second period like coming out the game was still on
the line 2-1 and you guys still seemed to ratchet it up a notch
or two in the third period to put the game away, did you talk
about that? DRAKE CAGGIULA: During the
intermission we talked about keeping the foot on the gas. We
came out and I think we put the gas full throttle there. We
wanted to get the next goal. We wanted to push back,
push back and make it as hard for them as possible. We got
two early goals there. From there we just kept rolling and
rolling we had the momentum all in our favor and we just, we
executed our game plan to perfection there there.
Q. Q. Drake, can you just talk a
little bit about ending the title drought for UND. You guys
have been waiting a long time for this night?
DRAKE CAGGIULA: It’s a special night not only for us but for
all the people that have put work into the program, all the
guys that have played before us, all the coaches that came
before us, and anyone that’s helped build this program up to
where it is now, it’s not just for this team it’s for all those
people. It’s for all those fans. It’s a 16-year drought
but it’s finally coming back to North Dakota, and it’s a special
feeling not just for our team but it’s a special feeling for
everyone that follows our team. Q.
Q. Q. You’ve got got a real
great scoring streak going on and it’s gone all through the
Playoffs and also you’ve really excelled in the third period all
season long, can you talk about kind of rising to the occasion
when it’s most important? GAGE AUSMUS: I think being a
senior, it’s my gone all through the Playoffs
and also you’ve really excelled in the third period all season
long, can you talk about kind of rising to the occasion when
it’s most important? GAGE AUSMUS: I think being a
senior, it’s my job to lead ( and all season long my line has
just been trying to drive drive the puck and lead the
right direction and we’ve been doing that for a long time now.
It’s been special. And as for the third period, our line
always says the third period has got to be the best period
whether we’re up or down, we need to keep pushing and pushing
and our line always talks about our third period’s our best
period. And I think we take pride in that and that’s why you
can see our third period results.
Q. Drake, talk about becoming the eighth North Dakota player
to win the most outstanding award for the Frozen Four?
DRAKE CAGGIULA: It’s a special feeling. It may be an
individual award but you don’t win it by yourself. My
teammates have been there. All four years. It’s not just this
year. It’s been four years. They’ve helped me grow as a
person and as a player. And to win that award, it’s a special
thing for me, but I couldn’t be there without my teammates and
my coaches and family and all my my friends whoever supports
me. So it’s an individual award , but at the same time it’s from
everyone else as well. Q.
Q. Q. Gage, what’s the feeling
after 20 minutes? You voenls minutes?
You obviously build the two-goal lead and late in the period
they get one. How does the team feel after the first?
GAGE AUSMUS: I felt after the first, had a great period. We
had a great period. And I felt they had the momentum at the end
of it a little bit just because of that last goal. We had to
get the message across that we had to keep keep chugging,
it was a great period and we had to remember that and keep with
our game there. Q. Q. Cam, you let the first two
shots of the season into the net after after — and a
third one actually but it was overturned. What was that like
after starting the way your freshman year went to start like
that Q. Cam, you let the first two
shots of the season into the net after — and a third one actua
lly but it was overturned. What was that like after starting
the way your freshman year went to start like that?
CAM JOHNSON: (Laughing) I guess it’s not about how you start,
it’s about how you finish. (Laughter) (Laughter)
. DRAKE CAGGIULA: Good answer.
Q. Q. Gage, can you talk about the
third period historically? You guys have gone for a long time,
if you’re leading after two periods, you tend to win?
GAGE AUSMUS: Yeah, it’s a mindset in the locker room. You
come in after the second period , like Drake said, his line has
— the third period has to be their best period and I believe
that’s the whole team. It has to be our best period every game
, whether we’re up or whether we’re down. So that’s been a
huge goal for our team is to have a good third period and
closeout games like that, and obviously we weren’t going to
let that one slip by us tonight. maybe backed off a little bit
with five or six minutes to go. There was a shift there where
you had a shot lined up from the right side of the faceoff dot
and you started moving it around instead of going for the third
goal. DRAKE CAGGIULA: My linemates
gave me some crap for that one. They said make sure you score
for the hat trick. And I saw Boeser there and I wanted to get
him a goal. But I probably should have shot that one. But
I don’t think our team ever let up. It was just I think that
was just a bonehead play by me .
Q. Offensively you guys knew what they had coming into this
game. Question is for Gage on the defensive side. What do you
do best to be able to contain that attack for the whole 60
minutes, do you think? GAGE AUSMUS: Our defense,
starts with our forwards. Our forwards backtracking
tracking, making making them chip the puck and not hold
it in the zone so we can hold you do best to be able to
contain that attack for the whole 60 minutes, do you think?
GAGE AUSMUS: Our defense, starts with our forwards. Our
forwards backtracking, making them chip the puck and not hold
it in the zone so we can hold zones. ( That’s what we’ve been
doing all years make teams chip it in and make them go get it.
And it’s worked out for us well this season.
Q. Q. Drake, kind of a special day.
Dave Hakstol got his Flyers in the playoffs today with a big
win today so it must be a big day in North Dakota?
DRAKE CAGGIULA: We’ve been following him all season long.
He’s been following us all season long. I don’t know if
you saw his interview he said go get it and it’s a special thing
when an alumni ( follows us and sending us text messages all
along the year. He helped build this team. He’s been there up
until just this past season. But he helped build this program
. He’s got a huge part of this program and this National
Championship is also for him. Q. Back in Minneapolis after the
Frozen Four you talked about learning levengs levengs
learning learning lessons and
letting your food off letting your foot
off the gas after the win over Denver.
GAGE AUSMUS: ( Obviously the Denver game I was a little
game it was a little scary they came back
scored two goals one going off my stick in the net to tie it up
. And that’s something we don’t want to do is give up a lead
like that. Especially in the Denver game it was a little
scary they came back scored two goals one going off my stick in
the net to tie it up. And that’s something we don’t want
to do is give up a lead like that. Especially in the third
period (. GAGE AUSMUS: ( Obviously the
Denver game it was a little scary they came back scored two
goals one going off my stick in the net to tie it up. And
that’s something we don’t want to do is give up a lead like
that. Especially in the third period (. So thankfully with
those lessons we learned throughout the season we were
able to keep our foot on the pedal and keep going tonight .
Q. Q. Drake, you’re an undrafted
NHL free agent is that the thing that’s perhaps fueled your
drive to become better and better and just a little extra
for you? DRAKE CAGGIULA: Yeah, I guess
every game is pretty much like a tryout. You’ve got to go out
there and prove yourself but at the same time that’s separate
from what you’re doing here. It’s on the side — you worry
about your team, you worry about the main goal, and the main
goal is to win a National Championship. I haven’t once
all season long thought about where I wanted to sign or
anything else. I focused these guys next to me and the guys in
the locker room that’s the main focus. It’s been that all year
long. Now is the time where you can kind of sit back and think
about your future. But while you’re at school, while you’re
with this program you only think about this program. And it’s a
special place. I can see it in everyone. It’s not just me.
It’s everyone in the program, focus on the program and the
task at hand (. MODERATOR: Thank you you.
Questions for Coach. Q. Brad, you built all that
momentum in the first maybe 15 minutes then it all changes
right at the end of the first period. period. Crazy
first period but what’s your message to your team after 20
minutes? COACH BERRY: Stay with it. Stay
with our game plan, stay with it, I thought we got into some
penalty trouble in the first part of the game that’s tough
gets you out of momentum gotta kill penalties in in a great
power play in Quinnipiac. And our guys stuck with it. They
dug in found a way to get through it. Biggest part was
getting on the rails again and again it goes to the leadership
in the locker room, the three guys beside me right here and
again I can’t say enough about our leadership group.
Q. Can you just talk about Drake’s Drake’s
Drake’s Drake’s Drake’s continue
Drake’s Drake’s kks kks contribution
what makes him so successful? COACH BERRY: You heard him. The
personal side maybe he he should have shot for t the hat
trick goal or or signing it’s about the team. Makes him
so successful permeates through our group if he does it
everybody else does it and again he’s a great young COACH BERRY: You heard him. The
personal side maybe he should have shot for the hat trick goal
or signing it’s about the team. Makes him so successful
permeates through our group if he does it everybody else does
it and again he’s a great young man ( ( and extremely proud of
him and him and I’m going to sadly miss him out of
this program here but he’ll always be a part of the family
family. Q. You became the first coach as
a rookie to ever win win the National Championship. Can
you talk about that accomplishment?
COACH BERRY: First of all I feel very uncomfortable talking
about that because again it’s not about me. I feel blessed
and fortunate to be in this position. I’ve been here for 10
years now I’m the head coach. Nothing changes for me. I’m
part of a special group and a special family here at North
Dakota. And it’s about these young men here in the locker
room that put it on the line every night in a game and come
to work every single day to to the arena for 10 years now I’m the head
coach. Nothing changes for me. I’m part of a special group and
a special family here at North Dakota. And it’s about these
young men here in the locker room that put it on the line
every night in a game and come to work every single day to the
arena (. Q. The drought is done, the
monkey is off your back, how does it feel to get that out of
the way or get that done? COACH BERRY: It feels great. We
openly talk about winning championships and trying to be
the best that we can be ever single day and finally to
complete that and do that it’s an abbing alaid or team award
that we’ll cherish for a long time. As much as this group is
going to enjoy it, I think the city of Grand Forks, the state
of North Dakota, the University of North Dakota. The athletic
department. The Ralph Engle stet family they’ll all enjoy it
. It’s all overdue and I’m glad we can do that and we had fans
a whole slug of them and I’m glad we came through for them ( of North Dakota, the University
of North Dakota. The athletic department. The Ralph Engle
stet family they’ll all enjoy it. It’s all overdue and I’m
glad we can do that and we had fans a whole slug of them and
I’m glad we came through for them (.
Q. Q. When we talked to you presea
son at media day there were two or three names that could start
at goaltender coming into this season. Cam Johnson stood out.
How important has he been to your success from point A to
point Z speak now? COACH BERRY: He’s been a huge
part of it. Again like I said I was in here the last couple of
days saying how he got here it’s like guys Zane McIntyre and
[indiscernible] you’re drilling me every day saying do you have
a goaltender there. I think we proved ourselves that we have a
goaltender here and again we’re extremely proud of him.
Q. Rand Pecknold described your first line as NHLest
NHLest ebbing what makes them so difficult to defend do you
think? COACH BERRY: Everybody gets
caught up in the offensive side of the game as far as their
skill. You know what they have NHL skills, special skills, but
the intangible is their work ethic away from the puck. I
keep harping on this and Gage alluded how hard we play. The
one change we did this year as far as get our forward working
group to work back to the neutral zone the everyday
pluggers will do that but sometimes the skill guys won’t.
Our skill guys did it every single day. The whole team
bought into what we were doing and again it’s the workman-like
mentality whatever it takes for the team.
Q. Q. Coming out of the second
period and going into the third you really exploded at the first
part of the third period. What did you say to the team before
you guys went out there, 20 minutes from a National
Championship? COACH BERRY: What we found
found is, like I said, our play got disrupted by taking a few
undisciplined penalties. We addressed that. No more. No
more penalties. If we did that, then we’d be okay rolling four
lines and getting back into our play. I thought after we killed
those penalties towards the middle of the second, end of the
second, we got rolling to their end of the rink started
protecting pucks down low and make them defend and got
opportunities their end of the rink. We caught fire. We knew
the recipe for success was to stay out of the penalty box make
sure we play a 200-foot game and game and grind them down a little bit low. I want
to thank the NCAA for doing a great job this year. They did
an unbelievable job as far as the preparation here and again
we’re grateful to be here and