April 8, 2021
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
PPG Paints Arena
Minnesota State Mavericks
Postgame Media Conference
St. Cloud State - 5, Minnesota State - 4
MODERATOR: We have Nathan Smith and Riese Zmolek with us.
Q. Riese, this one's for you. Did you feel like you guys got away from any part of your game towards the second half of the third period that let them get back into it?
RIESE ZMOLEK: I don't believe so. They're a good hockey team. They're going to make plays. Just hats off to them late in that third period.
Q. On the flipside of that first question, what did you guys do so well after it got to 3-1 that allowed you to get back into the game and take a lead?
NATHAN SMITH: I just thought we had good zone time in the offensive zone. We were playing hard, had good space, getting our bumps and stuff like that. We just had some momentum.
RIESE ZMOLEK: Basically just what he said. Our ground game not going -- our forwards are big-time horses up front. When we got down 3-1 and got momentum from that.
Q. I know it didn't end the way you wanted it here tonight, but you guys broke new ground this season winning two games in this tournament. How proud are you of what this team accomplished this year?
NATHAN SMITH: It's unbelievable what the distance we came. And Riese and all the rest of the seniors here, they paved the way for us. So I just hope we can come back next year and be stronger.
Q. Can you guys appreciate what you guys accomplished right now? Or is it kind of too hard in the moment? What are you guys thinking about?
RIESE ZMOLEK: Obviously it's tough what we just went through. Sorry. But obviously proud of that group we have in there. A special group of guys. Proud of every single person in that locker room that brought us to this point.
This organization's unreal. This is just the starting grounds for them. The coaching staff in there, Coach Hastings, they'll be back, they'll be back for more. Proud of this group.
NATHAN SMITH: I mean he nailed it on the head. Like he said they paved the way for us. And Coach does a good job getting us all going. And we'll be back.
Q. Nathan, you ended on a hot streak. Is your feeling after that great graduating class that's leaving, are you ready to accept some leadership role going forward?
NATHAN SMITH: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think everybody on our team is a pretty good leader. We all kind of step up and we know our roles. We do our thing. And everybody next year can be a leader. It's not just two or three guys. It's everybody.
MODERATOR: Congratulations on a terrific season.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports